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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 9 December 2010) . . Page.. 6161 ..


attendants, though, are special people and should be recognised. Peter Litchfield, after 16 years of service, has his last sitting day here today. He has been here longer than any of us. Peter, thanks for your service, and to your family our condolences for now having you home so much.

To Hansard; Committee Office; Corporate Services; Chamber Support; tricky Ricky, the Assembly’s Bob the builder; the Library: thanks for the time you spent over 2010 making sure we do the things that we are elected for. Without you, we could not do it.

To my colleagues and their staff: thanks for the time we have spent together. To those opposite: thanks for the entertainment. Remember, and I say this seriously, that politics can kill, so don’t let it happen to you. To our colleagues on the crossbench: thanks for changing the world. It must be destiny.

Finally, to my staff, Jim Mallett and Ian McNeil, and for a while last year Kim Fischer: I owe my sanity to you. Our office may be the den of the grumpy old men, but much laughter comes out of that office. And a merry Christmas to you all.

Valedictory

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.53): Standing up in the adjournment debate is not unfamiliar to me and, whilst there are a lot of people in Canberra to acknowledge, I do not think even I could actually get to the bottom of the list, but I might give it a fair crack later on.

I will take this opportunity to speak very broadly from a philosophical point of view rather than in support of one of the community groups around town. But as another year comes to an end it is fitting to reflect on what has happened and what awaits us in the year ahead.

Is Canberra a better place to live now than it was a year ago? That is the question that the government must strive to answer positively. That is the question that we as members must keep at the forefront when we make decisions about how we will influence the direction of the territory.

On many occasions and again today I will reiterate the concerns that I have about this Assembly and the government overreaching into the lives of Canberrans. I am confident about the ability of people everywhere to make wise decisions when it comes to their family, their money, their welfare, their community and their other circumstances. I have confidence in Canberrans’ ability to best choose the direction they want for their lives.

However, the world view of those opposite and on the crossbench is one that is in contrast to that view. The leftist ideology suggests that people are not necessarily capable of making these decisions and that institutions such as governments and parliaments know best. I strongly disagree with this notion, and the long list of near or actual failures of this place is evidence of that.

I believe that we do over-legislate and we create expectations that governments will solve problems. This expectation is strengthened by the high and increasing levels of


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