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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4225..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

tick—a merry Christmas. Once again, to all in the community, I wish them a merry Christmas and a safe holiday season.

Valedictory

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.52): I too would like to start by wishing a few people a merry Christmas and all the best for the new year. From my office, Claire Bongiorno, James MacDonald, Mike Smith, Chris Tutty, Rebecca Cody, Annemieke Jongsma and Lauren Hutchins. I also thank Hanna, Grace, Sandra and Robina from the Committee Office; the attendants Reg, Rod, Dennis, Pete, Lainie and Dick; and Tom, Janice, Max, Celeste and Tamara, all from the support office.

I wish to everyone else at the Assembly—Hansard people, library people, Corporate Support and the education office—and to my Brindabella constituents a happy Christmas. To all of those who have to work over Christmas, I hope you have some time set aside to catch up with your family and friends.

As many of you know, I have a keen interest in native vegetation and native bird life, I thought this year I might try to emulate the words of Edward Quinlan by associating the peculiarities of our humble Assembly members—virtually, of course—with the native feathered species.

I will begin with you, Mr Speaker. I liken you to the Australian sea eagle, often seen soaring on lofty heights. You have been known to swoop down on squawking smaller birds with deft accuracy, often inflicting serious injury and sometimes even expulsion from the aviary.

That leads me across to the other side to Bill, the Batemans Bay pelican—a wondrous, huge bird sometimes seen as a little goofy, but he always comes in with a smooth landing. In stark contrast, across the flight path we have Jon the wedge-tailed eagle, a well-known Australian icon seen often ripping the flesh from unsuspecting aviators across the gap. To move on to a softer note, we have Jacqui the crested pigeon, who has little to say these days except "coo, coo".

Coming back to this side of the loft, we have the Gallagher hawk nesting not too far from the wedge-tailed eagle. I can see her keeping a keen eye on that particular perch. Richard, of course, would be the one-legged swift. He certainly flew in quickly, but the pelican has nobbled him. He must now soar aloft all alone. Back to Simon over here, the pond crane. He stands proudly above the rest with a lofty omnipotence while they bicker and peck below.

I must move now to Deb, the fluffy chuff. As a Green she tries to look after everyone else's children. In fact, she has been known to pinch a few now and then from other nests. Brendan the red-breasted robin, now standing at the back of the right-wing roost, certainly is not chuffed. Karin is, of course, the southern duck, proudly quacking on at this time of year about Hanukkah.

We now look across to Steve, the cranky seagull, continually squawking for a copper at the bottom of everyone's cage and working very hard on a bushfire operational plan for the chook pen. Zed, of course, is the superb fairy wren. He is a pretty little bird,


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