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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4440..


Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, in the broad scheme of things it may be said that this past term will form a small chapter in the history of the Australian Capital Territory. However, like all other terms since the beginning of self-government, elected members have contributed as if their time here made up the entire book.

They have negotiated the pitfalls and pinnacles of the contest of ideas in a manner which enables a healthy debating chamber to respond to the community it represents. Although never pleasing all, this chamber remains a place where all views can be represented by elected members.

The quality of circumstances that are provided for us to do this work are considerably more comfortable than those enjoyed by the majority of people we represent, so it is natural for our electors to expect the highest quality work from us to achieve better outcomes for the community generally, but especially for those who are less well off.

In the end, when each of us puts this term behind us, it is enough if one has done the best that can be done to improve the strength, fairness and sustainability of the communities which are represented here. There will, of course, always be more to be done. Those of us who will be doing something else after this term have each contributed and will go equipped to contribute further.

At this point, I would like to pay a special tribute to my Labor colleague Bill Wood, with whom I have travelled a memorable journey from the beginning of self-government. I would like to pay my warmest regards to Bill and his family for whatever they choose to do in the future.

What can I say about Mr Cornwell, the Deputy Speaker? Having been ousted thrice by Mr Cornwell, members will have noticed that I spent little time in the chamber while the Deputy Speaker was in the chair lest he should get a hunger for his old habits. I think that it is appropriate to wish Mr and Mrs Cornwell bon voyage.

Ms Tucker leaves her indelible mark after an energetic stay in this place. Of course, where she has failed to succeed in leaving an intended mark, we have been sternly reminded of that by many extensions of time to ensure that our failure is not forgotten soon. I do sincerely wish Ms Tucker, Kerrie, the very best in her campaign for the Senate, along with many other people, but I do not expect Mr Humphries to end our long period of disagreement on almost everything to join me on this one. I know that Ms Tucker would enjoy it up there because the Senate does allow for longer speeches. Kerrie, I have to say to you, enjoy the bush.

Those of us who will go on to face a new round of challenges with the same overriding responsibility, along with the newcomers who will be elected to represent this great community, will be merely the new caretakers appointed to preserve and improve the lot of our community.

I think that we need to place on record our gratitude for the sterling work which has been done by each and every member of the Assembly staff for what must at times require a


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