Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2665..
professionalism, the depth of his knowledge, his willingness to put up with stumbling members and, overall, his good humour and his hard work.
As I think I have said in here on a couple of occasions, when the Estimates Committee finished meeting and all members went home, Mr Abbott stayed behind to do the work, to do the editing and to put together a very fine report. The quality of the report of the Estimates Committee is very much to the credit of Mr Abbott. Overall, Mr Abbott has always been a man with an excellent sense of humour and he is a gentleman and a scholar. I wish him well in Paris but we will miss him here.
MS MacDONALD (10.39): I, too, rise to wish Derek Abbott all the best and echo what you had to say, Mr Speaker, and also the words of Mr Smyth and Mrs Dunne. I wish Derek all the best in his new life in Paris. Of course, I would like him to take me with him in his luggage, although I have to admit it might not be a very comfortable ride.
When I first came into this place, Derek looked after the Health Committee for a short time and I found his advice to be sage and incredibly helpful. I have seen nothing in Derek's actions as the secretary of committees that I have served on to change that opinion.
I also echo what Mrs Dunne said about Mr Abbott having an incredibly good sense of humour. I think it is quite an admirable effort to sit on an estimates committee, not lose your temper for over two weeks and then, after deliberating until midnight, having to sit up until 3 o'clock in the morning typing up words that must blur before your eyes. I am sure that the committee office will do their best to make up for Derek's loss but we will all feel that loss for some time to come. Nevertheless, I wish him the best and hope that one day I will be able to say bonjour when I manage to get to Paris.
MRS CROSS (10.41): I also rise to convey my thanks to Mr Abbott. I got to know him a little bit better as a member of the Estimates Committee. I echo the sentiments of my Assembly colleagues. We put in over 90 hours during estimates, including very many long hours deliberating. He showed a great deal of patience, and also guided members along the way. One of the things that we had in common was that we had both lived in China and it was nice to be able to exchange some Chinese with him. I wish Mr Abbott well and bon voyage.
MR STEFANIAK (10.42): As Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee, I, too, would like to wish Derek Abbott all the very best and thank him for his sterling efforts as secretary to our committee. I certainly agree with everything that has been said. I was a little concerned at the initial meetings I had with Derek because he just kept calling me Mr Stefaniak. He can be quite formal and he referred to Mr Hargreaves and Ms Tucker in the same way. I said, "Mate, look, it's Bill, all right?"He would say, "I prefer it this way."I thought, "Okay, fair enough."That is his style. He is very professional.