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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 519 ..


that fade away. Our minds are pretty good at triaging the parts of our history, our careers and our stories that are really significant. More often than not, it is the people, the personal conversations, the connections we establish and the verbal and non-verbal exchanges that are far more memorable than the debates, the details and the disagreements.

Over the years there have been many issues that I have litigated. I am sure members would be very relieved to know that you are not going to hear another speech from me on light rail or housing affordability. But, in all seriousness, I do hope that you can all work on making Canberra a more affordable place, particularly with regard to the cost of housing, so that the relentless pressure that so many families are feeling can be relieved.

Of course, there has been no shortage of frustrations coming from a dozen years on the wrong side of the chamber. In many ways, the motivation, commitment and dedication of every opposition member, current and past, is quite extraordinary. Opposition is tough, and it is a credit to all that, despite the inevitability of almost every single vote in this place, each MLA maintains the fight and the conviction.

For quite a few years, as I am sure some of you would recall, I certainly maxed out the adjournment debate. I am pleased to have included in the annals of this city many, many achievements and even more names.

I thank all the staff of the Assembly, both those we see regularly and those who work behind the scenes. I particularly want to acknowledge the wonderful teams in Hansard and the library for all that you do. We take the provision and accuracy of our transcripts for granted. These services are always there when we need them. I particularly thank the librarians for their patience with the many reports and documents that I have requested—many I have yet to return. They will surely emerge as I pack up my office.

There have also been many journalists based here at the Assembly and elsewhere who have helped along the way with our communication. Of course, the last thing that a journalist wants is to be named in the Assembly by a Liberal. I am sure that would be a very career-limiting move at certain news outlets. But some have gone above and beyond to report the news, to build relationships and to build trust. I thank them.

To be elected by fellow citizens is very special. The personal satisfaction of election night in 2008 was a wonderful experience. I was written off in that campaign when I was preselected 49 days out from the election. We worked hard and went at a good pace. I am grateful for the many people that supported me in that campaign, many of whom have continued to be volunteers, staff, confidantes, friends and supporters throughout my dozen years here.

In 2008 I vividly recall my car breaking down in the late afternoon on election night. I was pulled over on Castieau Street in Higgins, listening to the electronic pre-poll votes come in. Fittingly, 12 years on, in the late afternoon on election night, in October 2020, my car broke down again. Perhaps I was being sent a message.


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