Page 1564 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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I probably had more to do with Mrs Jones when I was on the back bench, but certainly, on the trips that we have taken for committees and the like, I found out a little bit about her, including her former affiliation to the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. Her pragmatic nature has led me to think that, in a different world, in a different state—perhaps in her former state of Tasmania—and perhaps in a different decade, she might have been a member of the Labor Party.

I have really appreciated working with you, Giulia, in Murrumbidgee. I know that you have always had a focus on family, and I hope you have an opportunity to spend more time with them. Thanks.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (11.18), by leave: I will be quick, Mrs Jones, because we have not had the privilege of working together for very long, but there are a couple of reflections that I feel almost compelled to make. As someone only newly elected to this place, I did my homework before I came to work here, and I had a pretty good idea about who was who in the zoo, and what they stood for. I drew some conclusions from that, about what those people might be like to work with. And I want it on record that there is probably nobody that I got it more wrong about than you. I do not share your conservative politics, particularly your social conservatism, which involves strongly held values that I respect, though I do not share.

My conclusion from outside this place, prior to my election, was that those differences of opinion and those differences in values, may make our personal relationship challenging, maybe even make it difficult to work together, but you have been incredibly kind to me with that mothering spirit that others have mentioned, and you never had to be. I have my own Greens contingent, and my own team in the office; you never had to go out of your way to drop into the office and see how I was adjusting and how we were doing. One of the really nice things that I want to reflect on, Mrs Jones, which I think really speaks to your character, is the kindness I observed that you would offer my staff, not just to me.

And I think that is reflected in the interactions I have seen with people who work in all of the offices in this building. It really speaks to Mrs Jones’s character and the way that she conducted yourself in this place, that she did not treat her colleagues, as MLAs, one way, and the staff who work with us and serve our electorates a different way. She has been so kind to the people in my office.

I make these reflections because I know that there are people who would vote for me, and vote for my colleagues, and support my side of politics who, equally, would not share her opinions. Everybody is an armchair critic and maybe they would have unkind things to say about her—just as, I am sure, some of her most loyal supporters, the people who put your signs up on the side of the road, might in their quietest moments as armchair critics have unkind things to say about me and my colleagues. I want it on record, in spite of our differences, that Mrs Jones is an incredibly good person and an incredibly kind person. She has been very generous to a new young MLA in the time that I have spent here. I am not sad to see the politics that she represents lose a passionate advocate in this place, but I am very glad that her friends and family will get to spend more time with the good person that I have come to know in the short time I have been here.

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