Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 December 2021) . . Page.. 4007 ..
to the poor experience Mr Rattenbury has had over the last year. With his years of experience, he inherited five newbies and had to somehow help us all figure it out.
On the subject of people figuring it out, can I say that I have been really impressed, delighted and grateful for the tremendous service offered to us in our work by the committee secretariat office, the staff of the Legislative Assembly, the Clerk and his team, and all the attendants who reject my offer every day when I say I am doing a coffee run. One of these days I will be able to get you a round and I will feel a little less guilty.
It has been a real privilege and over the coming 12 months I hope that all my constituents continue to hold me to account, to call me, to email me. I hope to see you at my mobile electorate office more regularly next year than I have this year. COVID has certainly made that a bit challenging.
I did have one experience this year which I would encourage all 25 members of this Assembly to do. Perhaps this is where you will all laugh at me and you will go, “That is a true reflection of Johnno’s naivete.” When the Chief Minister popped up on the TV in my office and said, “We have got a COVID case. Canberra is going into lockdown,” we set our phone on voicemail. I said to Laura in my office, “Just divert it to my mobile.” That was what I said to her. I said, “Just divert it to my mobile because it will only be seven days.” Rookie mistake, very much a rookie mistake! But can I say that, at the time, it was maybe a little frustrating, particularly when the most aggrieved calls came in at the most inappropriate times. I will say, as a first-year parliamentarian, it was an incredibly humbling experience.
If you have not already done so, all of my 24 colleagues, put yourself on the shift occasionally to be the receptionist, to answer the phone and to hear what people are saying when they call up. It was really nice, on a personal level, to have so many conversations with my constituents throughout the course of lockdown.
I hope that over the next 12 months it will be under much better circumstances at mobile electorate offices throughout the electorates. I hope I am doing you proud and I hope that the work that my team and my Greens colleagues and I are doing proves to the community our genuine commitment to our policy ambitions, to our platforms, and our strongly held commitment to create a better normal for Canberra.
MS ORR (Yerrabi) (5.23): I rise to give my final adjournment speech for 2021. There are two aspects of this speech: a thank you to all the people who have made 2021 a success and another topic that I will save for a little later. As mentioned by many other members, 2021 has been one eventful year. Despite the lockdown and ongoing COVID situation, my office and I have continued to chug along and I am proud of the work we have done and the things we have been setting up for 2022. Together with the Yerrabi community, we have managed to accomplish some fantastic things and met some truly wonderful groups and people along the way.