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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5292..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

family, I send a special Christmas greeting from those on this side of the house. Nothing is too hard. Sometimes it takes a bit longer than he might even want it to take but it is always done. If you can't solve it, ring Barry, because he has always got an answer or he will give you a footy tip, normally starting with Collingwood.

Perhaps the media have the most difficult job in the place. They get it from all sides. It doesn't matter whether you are Liberal, Labor, crossbench, Democrat or the Greens, we are not being covered enough, we have been misrepresented, we haven't got the front page or the best picture. I don't think what we do in this place is recorded enough or reported enough, but I appreciate that is not because of the journalists who work in the building with us. What is done here is important, and I urge the media outlets to support the journalists, who do a pretty good job of getting it right most of the time, or getting us right some of the time-you can pick out which one it is. Without the media telling the story, nobody out there would know what we did. It is a shame that there isn't more interest. As we shut down for the year, the gallery is probably at the level that it has been for most of the year, and perhaps there is a challenge for you, Mr Speaker-how do you get more bums on seats in the gallery?

To my colleagues I say thanks very much. Thanks for the support throughout the year, thanks for the ideas, the innovations, the drive and all that you have done to represent your constituents. It is not an easy job in opposition. This is my second stint in opposition and to those over there I say we do hate it over here, so we will be back next year.

I will close on a personal note and thank my family and friends. To my wife, Robyn, who is fabulous and very supportive in what I do and understands what I need to do, I say thank you. To my daughters, Amy and Lorena, who, like all kids, often give up a great deal and never get thanked-and who often get picked on at school because of who their mother or father might be-I say thanks very much, and I love you both.

So, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe holiday. If you are going somewhere, please drive safely and come back next year. The opposition promises that it will be fun.


MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (5.25): This evening I give my best wishes for a safe and peaceful holiday season to all of my Labor colleagues and, indeed, to all members of this Assembly. I also express my thanks to all the different people in the Assembly and the broader ACT government service who have supported me and my office in my portfolio responsibilities over the past 12 months. In particular, I express my thanks to both the chamber support and the executive support areas of the ACT government and the Assembly for their diligence and hard work. I also express my thanks to my portfolio officers in ACT Health, the Land Development Agency, ACTION and the ACT Planning and Land Authority. All of them have displayed exemplary service and dedication to the task over the past 12 months in what has been a period of significant change, with the creation of a new ACT Planning and Land Authority, the new Land Development Agency, the Planning and Land Council, the ACT Health Council, indeed the Land Development Agency Board, along with the ACTION board.

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