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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3940..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

When I look back on Mrs Carnell's time as Chief Minister, I remember a person who made a huge contribution and a person who has much to be proud of. If she was a footballer, she would be remembered for having played the odd ordinary game. If I think back hard enough, I could probably remember the odd bad game I had. It was not very often. But Mrs Carnell can also look back on a lot more blinders - once again a bit like my career.

I have had a number of disagreements with her over the years. Even though I think she is an extremist on some things and an absolute lunatic on others, I know that she always believed that what she was doing was right.

The most special aspect for me was her treatment of my daughter. I became aware of my daughter's problem a couple of years ago when we played a game called Who Am I? It was a game about the identity of the person. Without fail, my daughter would start by saying, "I'm a lady, I'm pretty and I'm on television." You guessed it. It was not me; it was Kate Carnell. She made my daughter feel very special. My daughter still has doubts about whether I did the right thing by her friend over Bruce Stadium. Nevertheless, I am as responsible as the next person for what happened.

I wish you all the best, Kate, as you move on. I just hope you show us more grace than we showed you.

Ms Kate Carnell


MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Minister Assisting the Attorney - General) (10.56): Mr Speaker, I, too, would like to join in the excellent sentiments expressed so far in farewell to Kate Carnell. Not only was she known in Canberra, she was known Australia - wide. I can recall after, I think, the 1998 election, my 91 - year - old aunt Molly from Manly - an incredible monarchist who always criticised Kate, whom she saw on TV, for being a republican - having a go at me for two things. Firstly, she said, "Why did you give that republican such a big hug after you won the '98 election?" and secondly, "My God, you're getting fat. Look at that beer gut on you."

Mr Osborne mentioned his children. My two little children, too, have a great affection for Kate. I was always most impressed with the way my seven - year old Joseph would run up and jump on her at all times. I only found out fairly recently that he also had taken to ringing her in her office about three times a weekend - luckily, not on my mobile but just on my own house phone. She took it in her stride and established a great rapport with him.

Kate, you are a true leader. You have done wonders for the ACT economy. I do not think we would be in the healthy position we are in today were it not for your drive, your enthusiasm and your vision for Canberra. Gary has said you are a true Liberal. Yes, you are. We are a broad church and as part of that broad church you have done some interesting things in the social area.

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