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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4125 ..


I thank our COVID-19 Small Business Commissioner, Brendan Smyth. The Chief Digital Officer and the Shared Services teams have had to move a whole lot of things online over the last 12 months. I thank the ACT Property Group and our workforce capability and governance and HR teams for supporting all of these public servants to completely change the way they have had to work. I thank The Work Health and Safety Commissioner and her team for keeping everyone safe at work during a challenging period.

I particularly want to thank the Access Canberra staff, who have literally taken tens of thousands of calls and kept our community informed. They have developed innovative ways to deliver shopfront services and undertaken important compliance activities.

I could go on for a very long time, but I have been told that it would be best that I table a list of people and teams I would like to acknowledge to be incorporated into Hansard.

As we go into the summer period and the holiday period, I acknowledge the many Canberrans who will be working over this time to provide continued access to essential services. On behalf of the government and the people of Canberra, I thank all of those people for their service over this period and hope that they find some time to relax with family and friends.

Madam Speaker, I would like to acknowledge all my government and Assembly colleagues in this place for their hard work and dedication. To all members, let me say, through you, Madam Speaker, that it has been a tough year for everyone. It has been emotional at times. I know that everyone in this place is committed to representing and supporting their communities. We have different ways of going about that, and we often have very different views on how that is best done, but I am never in any doubt that everyone who is elected to this place—and, indeed, their staff—is committed to representing and supporting their respective communities.

Speaking of staff, I would like to thank my staff. They have worked incredibly hard—incredibly hard—over this year to support me and the government, and to respond to every issue that has come up. Let me tell you, Madam Speaker, that there have been many things you would expect and things you would not. They have gone above and beyond. I have made the observation before in this place that you might be the public face, the elected member, but you are only ever as good as the people who work with you and support you. So to my office, let me say this: we will get the opportunity to decompress after today is done, and I look forward to sharing some time away from work with you all, but thank you; you make it possible for me to do this job.

I want to thank the Office of the Legislative Assembly staff for their dedication to keeping the Assembly running so effectively in very challenging circumstances.

It has been challenging. Challenging times bring out the best and sometimes the worst in the community. But I feel it is appropriate to finish today by thanking Ken Behrens for doing the right thing and continuing to support each other. I wish everyone a safe,


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