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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 27 November 2014) . . Page.. 4260 ..

I take this opportunity to again remember Kurt Steel. It was a very sad day for all of us when he passed.

To the Greens—I believe that some of them still celebrate Christmas—we wish you all the best as well.

To the Assembly staff, and particularly Ray as he departs this place, thank you very much again. I thank Tom and all his staff for the great support that you have provided and, of course, I thank everybody out there in the ACT public service for doing such a great job, as they do.


MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (6.22): I rise this afternoon to look back and reflect on what has been a really busy and personally enjoyable 12 months for me. As all of you would be aware, this is the first time I am delivering this speech as a minister. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who have assisted in my transition to the second floor, particularly those in the initial weeks of briefings, meetings, planning sessions and the non-stop flow of briefs across my portfolios.

To my caucus colleagues, who I feel incredibly proud of, thank you for your strong support over this last year in particular. It is a fantastic team.

I want to thank my senior executives—Dorte Ekelund, Natalie Howson, David Nicol, Michael Young, Mark McCabe, Sue Chapman and Ben Ponton. I understand how stretching this time would have been, with a new minister, and I thank them for their strong support, guidance and professionalism.

I would also like to thank the ACT public servants that have helped out, especially for their dedication and commitment to serving the people of this city so well across my portfolio areas. I would like to especially thank the DLOs and public servants who assisted me through the transition—Vic Smorhun, Tania Carter, Alex Magee, Justin McEvoy, Georgia Harvey, Ashley King, Brad Burch and Kate Boljkovac.

I will take a moment to thank my office staff, who continue to work tirelessly to ensure that my speeches, briefs, letters and other things get done. To my chief of staff, Adina Cirson, to my advisers, Neil Finch and Jason Clarke, to my media adviser, Ellie Yates, and to office manager, Natasha Apostoloski, thank you for all your hard work, the can-do attitude that you bring and the sense of fun that you bring to the office. It is actually a pleasure to come into work every day.

To the Assembly staff and attendants, thank you very much for your help this year. To Ray, tight lines, and don’t go, Ray, until you have fixed that clock. I noticed that, for the first time, the clock is on a bit of an angle, so don’t head off yet!

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