Page 3997 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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smart, with a bright future ahead of her. I am excited to watch the many exciting things that I know she will do in her career. Minister Gentleman seemingly had similar thoughts, which is why he thought it would be a good idea to poach her, which is why you can find her on level 2 these days. Abby, thank you for all of the hard work over many years.

To my Assembly colleagues of all parties, I say: thank you for another year. Whether it be in caucus meetings, committee meetings, debates in the chamber or making chitchat at community events, I have enjoyed many opportunities this year to better get to know each and every one of you.

I will look fondly on 2022. The last two or so years in this place have been dominated by COVID concerns. I remember, like everyone else, the very jarring experience of March 2020, with my calendar filled with events and instead suddenly sitting around at home with a steady flow of Zoom meetings. It has been such a pleasure, throughout this year, that the events have returned. My calendar has finally started to resemble the calendar of pre-COVID times, and it feels really good.

This year has been a fun one in terms of public policy as well. I had a bit of fun talking about the idea of landlord references, I argued for sick pay for casuals, and I turned our attention back to embedded networks that have been ripping off Canberrans. The crowning moment, of course, was the passage of the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill. It was a long and slow process over several years, but it finally came to pass. I have got my work set out for me to top this year, but I will do my best next year.

Over the summer months my team and I will be taking a much-needed break. I hope that each and every one of you will have a chance to rest and also celebrate the festive season with your loved ones.


MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (5.50): I want to say a few thankyous as well, as we head towards the end of the year, after what have been a challenging couple of years not only in our school communities but across our city.

I want to start tonight by thanking all of our school principals, teachers, school staff, P&C and councils, as well as our school cleaners and building service officers. For many of our schools, this year has been another challenging one, with some schools needing to move to remote education temporarily, exacerbating the workforce and workplace issues that are already being experienced. I want to thank you all again, and the students and families across the ACT. I know how hard you are all working, including me. We have the welfare of our children at the front and centre of our minds.

Domestic, family and sexual violence is an ongoing issue which, despite all of our efforts, continues, and too many people have had their lives turned upside down as a result. I want to acknowledge all of the support services who work day and night to

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