Page 1562 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022
really appreciates that. Even during that time, she campaigned for the community sector by putting together food hampers and support for the community. She was out there doing that from the kindness of her own heart because she saw that there was a desperate need to support this particular sector of the community. Congratulations on that.
To Bernard: I know Bernard has been a great support of yours, Mrs Jones. I have known Bernard for a long time, as well. Yes, he has an interest in old cars, but he also has an interest in coins. I know that there was an incident where the coins were lost, so hopefully they can get that passion back and start the interest up again. But, Mrs Jones, I really just wanted to thank you for your service to Molonglo and Murrumbidgee. Thank you for the support and the mentorship that you have given me over the years. I know that wherever you go from now, you will succeed in whatever you choose to do. I wish you all the best, and hopefully we still see you around the traps.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (11.11), by leave: It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to recognise Mrs Jones’s service in this place for the people of Canberra, especially the women and the mothers, and her constituents. There is no doubt that Mrs Jones has sometimes played it hard in this place and has been the loudest voice—even when Mr Hanson has been in the chamber! Opposition, particularly a long-term opposition, does grow frustration, and we do understand that. I think that sometimes those opposite goad one another into a level of aggression and personal attacks that do not actually reflect the way that they would prefer to behave, and the way that we sometimes see them in private.
But, at the same time, we have seen many times that Mrs Jones’s passion is driven by a genuine concern for people. Looking back at Mrs Jones’s correspondence to my office through the pandemic, that is the common theme that shines through. When it came to advocating for individuals who were doing it tough, it was not about the political win; it was about getting something done for that person or that group.
And I valued Mrs Jones’s recognition, privately at least, that I could not actually always fix everything, and that that did not mean that I did not care, or that my office did not care, or that officials did not care. Mrs Jones is a thoughtful person. When we went into lockdown, she knew that I and my office staff would be working flat out, as she has talked about, and she delivered a basket of snacks—some healthy, some not so healthy—to keep us going. That really spoke to the way Mrs Jones does think about others and to her motherly nature. As she has talked about, and as others have mentioned, when Mrs Jones became aware of the impact of COVID on particular communities and families, she pitched in, in a really practical way, helping to deliver food, particularly to large families who were doing it really tough in isolation and quarantine, during the peak of the delta wave.
In briefings, Mrs Jones engaged personally and sensibly. She was, I have to say, much better informed and less ideological than her predecessor in those conversations. She knew about some of the very sensitive matters that we had to work through, and some