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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4128 ..


DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (5.34): What a year it has been. I have to say, first and foremost, thank you and merry Christmas to my constituents in Murrumbidgee. Thank you for putting your trust in me.

I would like to acknowledge what a challenging time it has been over the second half of this year in particular. I have never been more proud to be a Canberran. We have such a caring and resilient community, and this has been on show on the global stage over the past six months of this year.

I also believe we have had outstanding leadership through this COVID outbreak. I want to acknowledge for the record and pass on the thanks and appreciation that I have received from the Murrumbidgee community for the leadership shown by the Chief Minister, the health minister, the Deputy Chief Minister, the police minister and, of course, the Chief Health Officer. Your leadership and teamwork in fronting the community daily during the COVID outbreak was professional, informative and compassionate during what was such a challenging time.

I would like to thank my other Labor colleagues—Madam Speaker, Minister Cheyne and my fellow Murrumbidgee member Minister Steel—and special thanks go to my fellow backbenchers, Ms Orr and Mr Pettersson, for always having an open door for me as I have navigated this past year.

I would like to acknowledge my Greens colleagues. Although we are different colours, we have a joined agenda, and I am proud to be collaboratively working towards achieving our goals and promises to our community.

I would like to thank all of the office staff of all of my colleagues, who spend time answering emails and providing information to my office and, ultimately, the constituents of Murrumbidgee. It is a pleasure to work in such a collaborative team environment. I greatly appreciate the role you play in supporting us all in the chamber.

I would especially like to thank my office staff, Anna Gurnhill and Rhys Thompson. You always go above and beyond. Not only are you both incredibly smart, capable people, but I love the fact that you are as committed to the issues that we work on and are as committed to serving the people of Murrumbidgee as I am. I would also like to acknowledge Bentan Honeywood, who has just left my office. Thank you for your contribution, and I wish you very well in your future endeavours.

I would like to thank all of the ACT government officials who give their time and expertise to serve our community. I particularly acknowledge the senior officials who answer our often curly and sometimes disjointed questions during hearings.

I would like to thank the community councils and the community organisations for all of the tireless work that they do.

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