Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3721..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
He saunters in here with that wry grin that he sometimes wears. I am glad you are here, Chief Minister. It is about time you got up and stopped squibbing it. At 12 minutes to 12 on the third last day of the Assembly, we are finally going to hear from the Chief Minister—I hope we are going to hear from the Chief Minister because these are important issues.
My bushfire brigade has its AGM tomorrow night, as we have had every year, in the second last or the last week of August for as long as I have been a member. The members of my brigade still ask questions. The captain of my brigade appeared before this inquiry, along with other captains, along with some former serving officers, some former officers of the various services, so that he could have his say on behalf of his members who are looking for answers and do want assurances that it will not happen again. But they did not get it today. They did not get a full debate. They did not hear the government defend its record. At 11 minutes to midnight we are at last going to hear from our Chief Minister.
Civil and Administrative Tribunal—appointment of Mr Stefaniak
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (11:49): I would like to take the opportunity in this adjournment debate today to congratulate a long-term colleague of mine, Mr Bill Stefaniak, on the very significant appointment that was made today. Mr Stefaniak has today accepted an appointment with the Civil and Administrative Tribunal—a very significant honour, an honour that certainly befits Mr Stefaniak's experience, certainly his experience as a solicitor, as a prosecutor, as a former Attorney-General, as a long-time public officer. I quite genuinely extend to Mr Stefaniak my congratulations on his appointment to this most significant position today.
Mr Stefaniak has been a member of this place second only to you, Mr Speaker, in length. It is certainly the case that he is the longest serving Liberal within the Assembly, certainly the most experienced member of the Liberal Party in the Assembly, certainly the most popular member of the Liberal Party in the Assembly. He has made a very significant contribution to this place. I am not quite sure whether his colleagues will miss him but, certainly in the context of the contribution that he has made, Mr Stefaniak today stands as a very worthy appointee to this particular position. And I do extend to him my congratulations and my best wishes for the future.
It must have been a difficult decision that he has made. I can understand, in the context of the timing of that particular decision and the decision that he has made to move on, that it would have been difficult. I have no doubt that it would have been a quite significant shock to his leader and to his party this morning to be informed for the first time by Mr Stefaniak that he was leaving the Assembly, that he was forsaking them, that he was moving on to another life and another appointment. But I guess they will get used to that.
I might conclude by again congratulating Mr Stefaniak, somebody that I met in 1970 at law school. We have known each other for that entire time, through a whole range