Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 3629..
MR RATTENBURY (continuing):
The theme on Saturday night was that cycling is the way to heaven and, somewhat unfortunately, I found myself on the negative side. We nonetheless managed to argue that cycling is in fact the way to hell. It was actually a very fun evening. Again, there was a great crowd and I would really like to congratulate the organisers of the event and the sponsors of the evening.
There was a very serious side to what was a fun evening, and that is that the evening was designed to raise money for Hartley Lifecare. Hartley Lifecare is a Canberra-based organisation that provides accommodation, support and respite care for children and adults in the ACT with physical and complex disabilities. They have been doing this for more than 45 years. They provide a range of services, including full-time residential facilities and care, assistive technology, a transport system and workplace training and development, amongst others.
It is great work that they do and the people that are putting in an effort to raise funds for Hartley Lifecare put in a great deal of effort. Hartley Lifecare receive both government funding as well as business and individual sponsorships in addition to the fundraising events they undertake. I simply want to take the opportunity to reflect on the good work that Hartley Lifecare do and congratulate them on their work and wish them all the best with their future fundraising endeavours, as they seek to provide a very valuable service to the Canberra community.
Dr Brendan Nelson
MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.22): I rise this evening to pay tribute to the career of the Hon Brendan Nelson, federal member for Bradfield. Earlier today, Dr Brendan Nelson announced that he would be retiring from the federal parliament next month. His departure from the House of Representatives will be a great loss for the people of Bradfield, the Liberal Party, the parliament and Australia. He was a consummate professional and a person who will be remembered for his honesty, conviction and compassion.
Dr Nelson's parliamentary career started in 1996, when he was elected to represent his northern Sydney electorate. Prior to being elected, Dr Nelson served as a general practitioner for 10 years, including service with the Australian Medical Association, including federal president of the organisation from 1993 to 1995.
Early in the year of the Centenary of Federation, Dr Nelson was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence. He became Minister for Education, Science and Training post the 2001 election. Early in 2006, he was appointed Minister for Defence and served in that position until the 2007 election. Dr Nelson was elevated to leader of the parliamentary Liberal Party post the election and served as Leader of the Opposition until September 2008.
I had the pleasure of serving alongside Dr Nelson in the party's federal executive for a few months before my term in that body expired. I admired, and still do admire, his style of politics and the values he espouses. Dr Nelson will be looked at very favourably by past, present and future university students for having the conviction