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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 27 November 2014) . . Page.. 4270 ..

Extended thanks go to the support staff that work here in the Assembly to keep things functioning, particularly the staff in the Chamber Support Office and the Clerk’s office. I would like to make special mention of Janice Rafferty for her help and assistance when accompanying you, Madam Deputy Speaker, and me to Kiribati this year. It was a most enlightening and eye-opening trip to see how our twin parliament functions and also the challenges that they face as an emerging economy.

To the attendants, Hansard, library and the committee staff, again thank you for your support and assistance through the year, and a special mention to Ray Blundell as you finish up here in the Assembly.

All of this, though, would not be possible without the support of my loving wife, Christine, through the year, particularly as she has spent the vast bulk of the year at home as our beautiful daughter, Sophia, has had her first year. I think that her continuing support and encouragement for me to do what is often a demanding and challenging job, particularly on family, is something that needs to be reflected on. I think all our partners and spouses go over and above to allow us to do what is often a difficult public job.

I also would like to note what was a very difficult time for my family this year. After 19 years my family took a sad decision to close our family business. I know that we are not alone and there are many others in our community that have made tough decisions as the economy locally has become tougher to operate in and has seen a number of people retrenched or lose their jobs, not just from government employment but also from the private sector. I think for those that have either lost their jobs or lost their businesses, this is an appropriate juncture for us to note the contribution that they have made to our city and also pay tribute to them into the future and hope that they do have a happy and festive Christmas and that 2015 brings great success and opportunity.


MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.55): It is a tradition at this time of year that we all have a chance to say a few words, as we have been, to mark the end of a sitting year, to acknowledge the hard work that takes place here and to wish everyone well for the festive season. I am happy to take this opportunity. However, I must say that I do so without the usual feel of light-heartedness. This year I think has been a tough one for many of us in this place. Of course, each one of us has had our own private and not-so-private ups and downs in our lives, both professional and family. But this year many of us shared deep grief with the death of Kurt in particular.

Many would know that Charles in my office suffered a death in his close family just recently—that of his brother. He is still in Africa supporting family. We saw Joy’s sons join us briefly here today in the chamber. I acknowledge how difficult it has been for her to fulfil her role as a busy minister and at the same time provide much needed support to her family members. But I know she has done so with all good humour.

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