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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 27 November 2014) . . Page.. 4271 ..

Amongst my family and friends, I have had the usual ups and downs and good and bad news in relation to extended family members’ health and shared their anxiety and sometimes their relief when the health news was not so serious. As I said, all of us have had periods of happiness and sadness this year. Some of us have been sharing some of that. Just now Mr Wall shared with us the sadness of the closing of his family business, which has obviously been a tough decision. We also, of course, have the joy of Mrs Jones having her next child. We hope that will go well.

We do have our ups and downs, but I guess the thing for me that really reinforced my general feeling of sadness was Mr Fluffy. For many of those families who are experiencing this firsthand, the festive season promises not to be so very festive. As Mr Wall has pointed out, it will not be so festive for people who have lost their jobs or who have had other downturns because of what is happening in this city. I mention also volunteers who will be helping out those who are very vulnerable in our community. I thank you for acknowledging that, Ms Berry. As the Chief Minister said, we can reflect that we do live in a wonderful city that has many benefits. There are myriad troubled communities around the world and we are very fortunate indeed.

I do extend my thanks and good wishes to Ray. I will miss him. I hope that the whole place does not fall apart; there are concerns that it might. My heartfelt thanks to all those who keep this place ticking on a daily basis and who look after us in so many ways. Thanks to all those who prompt me in the chair, the long-suffering clerks, and also to my colleagues who take the chair—Madam Speaker and the two assistant speakers. I thank also my committee secretary, all those others who support me in my committee roles and, of course, the attendants, who look after us so well.

Special thanks go to Ben for his long-suffering attempts to help me in relation to my IT skills. Thanks also to the education office and to Rick, and to Ian Duckworth for his recent advice today on my footwear. That is an in-joke, by the way.

I thank all my colleagues on this side of the chamber—the Labor Party and the Greens—and those opposite. I want to specially thank each of my staff for their hard work and untiring support—Charles, Dave, Zara and Bree. I also thank Kate, currently undertaking an internship with me, and Onyii, who previously undertook a large body of research this year for me. I am fortunate to have such a wonderful staff.

Lastly, I thank my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchild and, of course, my very supportive husband for being there for me, for understanding when I do not seem to be very much there for them. All the best to everyone, and I guess we will all be back to fight the good fight in 2015.


MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (7.00): Madam Assistant Speaker, I will take an opportunity as the member for Ginninderra, rather than the Speaker, to make some comments in relation to the festive season. I will start, however, by paying tribute to the staff of the Legislative Assembly: the office of the Clerk, chamber support, the

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