Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020) . . Page.. 191 ..


because I type faster, and we ploughed through. I have not pulled an all-nighter like that for decades. It was a fun night—a bit too late for this old girl. But such is the calling of the dizzy vocation we call parenting.

I want to pay tribute to the amazing dedicated teachers at Gungahlin College for getting my daughter and the rest of the year 12 students through.

Let me share some pearls of wisdom. Lesson 1: pick your battles. We hear it often, but this time it is time for that. Lesson 2: keep your children’s teachers close. I would go one step further and say, “Put them on speed dial.” Lesson 3: give your kids space. Dare I say it: maybe even leave them alone. Finally, and let’s be brutally honest, stock up the cellar, because there may be the occasional—and only the occasional—evening when you really need a glass or a bottle of something strong.

Valedictory

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.11): The year 2020—what a year it has been, from go to whoa. There have been bushfires, hailstorms and, of course, the pandemic. I think that is how most people will remember 2020, but those of us in this room will remember 2020 as an election year. Members here will remember it as a year that we were elected—and good on us! I am told that I increased my primary vote by 26 per cent. It was not enough to beat you home, Madam Speaker. It is difficult for me to feel anything other than a sense of failure, to be honest. I was part of a collective that set out to win government from Labor and the Greens, and as a collective we failed. I share that responsibility and I am sorry for the people that I let down.

This week is an exciting week. We have had a swag of wonderful inaugural speeches. Again, I welcome all of the enthusiastic new members. I still remember the early days in the last term, when I vowed, Mr Davis, that I would spend most of the sitting time in the chamber. I am sure that will change before too long—not because we are lazy but because you can get more done in your office. As we revel in the excitement of the newly elected members at the end of this year, I just want to press pause for a moment, and talk about the people who are not here with us today.

There are six MLAs who contested the election but were not re-elected, and the pain that they all feel is immense and very real. To Andrew, Bec, Candice, Gordon, James and Deepak, I just want to put on the record that you all remain friends of mine and that your work in this place was extremely worthwhile. The loss of your seats is no reflection on who you are. I can genuinely say that I will miss all six. I had a beer with Andrew, I have spoken to Bec and Candice, and I sat with Gordon as he was clearing out his office. I spent time with James—Millo—at his place last week and had a long chat to Deepak this afternoon. I have told them all that I share the pain of their forced departure. And I do.

This is a brutal game we play in here. We will have differences of opinion over the next four years. We will argue and we will fire shots across the chamber, but let us not ever forget that we are 25 people who have all come here to represent our electorates. I find it very difficult to hate anyone, I tried to hate Johnno for a couple of weeks, but I could not even do that. We have all come here to make Canberra a better place. We


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video