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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4441..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

grinding effort. The goodwill that has always been shown has been nothing short of exemplary.

I also acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of staff of members and ministers and, most importantly, those staff who have loyally worked in my office throughout this term. I reserve my highest praise for the effort that they have put in to maintain the standards of my office in this place.

No statement such as this can go without mentioning family, friends and acquaintances who may from time to time have felt abandoned by members and staff finely focused on their work here. In my experience, it is most important to have a close family, as a great deal of tolerance is required to deal with what, in effect, has become an intrusive member of the family. The silent contribution of families is the most undervalued aspect of the work in this place. I think that it is timely for us to reflect on that since we are the ones who subject them to the rigours of political life.

Finally, I would like to thank sincerely all members for the support that they have given me throughout my term as Speaker. Until we meet again!



MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.35): I move:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Mr Speaker, 15 years ago, in a carefully scripted program, the life of this Assembly began. With a sudden urge to get his name recorded in that historic first Hansard, an eager member jumped to his feet and, ignoring that script, spoke without leave or place in the daily program. My name remains in Hansard. I have mostly kept to the standing orders since then. The Hansard says that it was by leave, but that is not right; that was not what happened.

But 15 years is long enough. It is time to move on, reluctantly, but the timing is right. I will miss the place and the work-the more of that the better-but I am not sure that I am looking forward to the likely dramatic change of pace. Running a ministry, a number of them, is a great job; it is the best. It provides the opportunity to play a constructive role in running this great city-demanding, challenging, constructive, frustrating, but always rewarding.

I just do not have time, members, to list all the achievements of 61/2 years of being a minister, of 15 years in this place, and of all the valuable, instructive and constructive committee work. I value those times, especially as the sole person from my side for that committee work. I am not sure about the estimates committees, though.

A number of community bodies have expressed a wish to recruit my interest. I may, but I caution them that I will now come as a single package, just me. At home I have total and wonderful support for my role as a member and minister; but, more than that, Beverley

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