Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020) . . Page.. 197 ..
What a privilege to be standing here even giving this valedictory! I am honoured that the people of Kurrajong once again put their faith in me to be their voice. I am humbled that my party room colleagues put their faith in me to lead our party this term and I am hopeful, now more than ever, of the strength of resilience and the humanity of Canberrans. It is this hope that I will take with me into 2021 as I continue to serve the people of Canberra.
MR COE (Yerrabi) (4.31): 2020 has been a year like no other. Whilst it was surely a challenging year to govern, it was also a difficult year to be in opposition, to be an alternative government. Yet through the fires and the smoke, all the health and economic challenges of the pandemic, oppositions are simply not the go-to for public information. Whilst there were times where I obviously had a different perspective to the government about restrictions and the one-size-fits-all approach, I thank and congratulate the government, be they ministers, advisers or public servants, who helped navigate the ACT through this difficult period.
To my colleagues, thank you for your support and loyalty. I congratulate and thank Elizabeth Lee and Giulia Jones for your new leadership of the party. I have much hope and confidence in you both. I also, of course, thank the voters of Canberra for again sending me to represent you here in the Assembly.
There are many people that made huge sacrifices to support me in the leadership role. I thank my staff, including Steve, David, Deborah, Ausilia, Elysse, Ollie, Joel, Emily and Sarah. I also particularly thank Nicole Lawder for her friendship, support, advice and loyalty. I thank Josh Manuatu and John Cziesla for their management of the party and their confidence and friendship. I thank the many volunteers in the party for all that you selflessly do. It is true that the election and the years leading up to it did take a toll and the weeks since have been tough.
The job of being a representative and legislator is never done. Whilst I have derived much satisfaction from putting forward bills and motions, proposing policy ideas and asking questions in estimates or coming up with a new angle for a media story, it is the personal stories and individual representations that bring about the most contentment. Be it helping a family to navigate the citizenship process, supporting a business fighting for a tax concession, helping a single mum advocate for a public housing property, helping a family lobby for a school enrolment, supporting a community group with their funding requests or helping someone on the elective surgery waiting list—these are all things that we are sent here to do.
I am proud of the policies that we took to the election. I worry about the working poor in this city. I worry about housing affordability and the dream of home ownership. I am proud of our advocacy, outreach and representation of our wonderful multicultural and faith communities.
I very much hope that Canberra does get a residential postnatal depression facility. I hope that we do get a technical school where we elevate the role of the trades and