Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 522 ..
One of the most important reasons I decided to seek election was because of my frustration with the current government—a government that has neglected the provision and upkeep of basic services such as public safety, roads and hospitals—and, of course, their poor financial management. Instead, this government has spent valuable taxpayer resources on satisfying their delusions of grandeur and has sought to turn Canberra into the nation’s leading social laboratory.
That was in 2008 and it seems perhaps little has changed, according to Alistair.
Alistair came into this place as a young, single, passionate and committed Liberal, keen to make a difference. He leaves this place still young, still passionate, still a committed Liberal, but now as a husband and father with the additional mantle of senior statesman and mentor to so many within the Liberal Party.
Those who know Alistair well also know his capacity for the dry comment and self-deprecation. His sense of humour is almost stealth-like. There are many stories that might be told about Alistair’s contribution to and time in this place, and mere words seem to be inadequate. I will, however, place on the record one outstanding ability that Alistair himself talked about: his ability to recognise people, places and events, and milestones in his electorate.
As the Chief Minister and I observed only yesterday, Alistair was able to pack more words into a five-minute adjournment than anyone else. At times we would reflect on whether there were any more names in the phone book that had not made it into Hansard through one of Alistair’s adjournment speeches. His Christmas card list was almost as long. On many a Christmas Eve or the day before, I am told by those who have been here longer than me, Alistair would be seen furiously handwriting Christmas messages to almost everyone in his electorate.
One story that perhaps might one day be further explained is the apparently memorable trip that he and fellow committee members Mary Porter and Caroline Le Couteur made to Brisbane, when they took in some of Brisbane’s nightlife—all in the name of committee busines, I am told and assured. Such travel is no longer available; is there a connection to what happened on that trip? But, as we all know, what happens on a committee trip stays on a committee trip. I am told that perhaps the seeds of an idea of a Coe, Le Couteur and Porter consultancy may be on the cards.
We all know that behind every successful person there is an even harder working partner, and Yasmin is certainly that. She has also been a huge support and a friend to all of the Liberal MLAs, and her exquisite hampers have often been the go-to gift for special occasions. Yasmin’s and Alistair’s two beautiful children, Angus and Annabel, are a source of enormous joy in Alistair’s life, and I am sure that he is looking forward to spending more time with them. I acknowledge Yasmin and also his parents, Bruce and Barbara, who are joining us here today, great friends of the Liberal Party.
Alistair, on behalf of the Canberra Liberals, the MLAs, the party members and the supporters, thank you. I cannot begin to understand the personal toll the last four years, especially as leader, have placed on you and your family. I suspect that I am going to