Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4129 ..
I would like to thank the Clerk and the most capable staff of the OLA, who support us on a daily basis. Thank you also to the dedicated committee staff who diligently and carefully navigate and facilitate our committees.
I would like to thank the ACT Labor Party office and, in particular, the Weston Creek and Woden sub-branch members. It is a pleasure working with you and I look forward to what 2022 brings.
I say to the Canberra Liberals: you are a fascinating bunch and I have enjoyed the conversations and debates over the last year. One thing I do ask—and he is not here now, so it is okay—is that you work with your colleague Mr Cain to improve his jokes. I really have no words but just shake my head.
I share Minister Gentleman’s Christmas wish for a federal Labor government next year. It feels like if we keep saying it more and more, there is a chance of it coming true. I thought my kids’ Christmas elf on a shelf was a shifty mover and shaker, but I will tell you that our PM, Scott Morrison, gives him a run for his money! Enough is enough.
Finally, I would like to thank my partner, Darrin, and my kids, Bill, Estelle and Josie, for being so accepting and supportive of me in doing this job.
I wish everyone a lovely, safe and healthy break over the summer. And bring on 2022.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (5.39): There is so much to say about 2021. Even with an extension of the speaking time to 10 minutes this year, I will have to limit myself to a few topics.
First, of course, there is the pandemic. There have been many difficult aspects of the pandemic: the loss of lives, the health impacts for those infected, the economic impacts, the disruption to people’s lives, the inability to see loved ones and the simple unfairness of it in the way that some are far more heavily impacted than others. I acknowledge those who have missed funerals, weddings, births, first steps, first words, graduations, formals and all those other important life milestones. As a former expat, Australians overseas are in my thoughts—those who have struggled to return to live at home, those who have not been able to visit family for years now and those for whom the uncertainty has been so draining.
The pandemic has also shown us the very best of our community. I am deeply grateful to Canberrans for the way they have responded to the health advice and the directives of government. I am grateful to and proud of our public servants, health advisers and community partners for the way they have performed their roles and pulled together to protect this city to the very best of their ability. At the end of 2021, I think it is fair to reflect that Canberra has got through this in far better shape than could have been the case. That is due to the efforts of everyone in our community, doing their part as well as they can.