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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3096 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

We also want to thank everybody involved in the Assembly - the Assembly Secretariat, the Hansard people, the attendant staff and, of course, our committee staff as well. It has been a pretty hard year for many of those people and they have worked extremely hard. I think the best thing about all of those workers, though, is the way that they have always remained friendly, able to discuss issues, able to comply with requests that might be made, and able to ease the passage of us all as members of this Assembly, and also the business of the Assembly. It has been a wonderful service. I would like to wish everybody a very happy Christmas, and I hope that all of those hardworking people will have a chance to get some time off.

There is one other matter that I wanted to touch on briefly, Mr Speaker, and that is the work of Ms Melanie Buckley, who is a student at ANU. She has been undertaking an internship in my office recently. Her work was to examine the provision of health and housing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the ACT. It was a very challenging task that she set for herself. It was a task that required a great deal of sensitivity and understanding as well as considerable research skills. Ms Buckley has completed her report. It is called "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Housing in the ACT". My view is that it is an excellent report from a student who has undertaken this work in a quite short period of time. It is a report that is worth anybody's while to have a look at. I would like to advise members that the report will be held in the Assembly library, and I would recommend it to anybody with an interest in this area. It is an example of what a good idea this internship scheme really is. It gives some very good thinkers a chance to spend some time in the Assembly on subjects which interest them, and it gives us as Assembly members a chance to rub shoulders with at least part of the academic world of the ACT. I think those kinds of arrangements can only be to the good of both bodies. So, Mr Speaker, I commend Melanie Buckley's work to everybody. I say, again, thanks to everyone who has worked so hard throughout the year, and a very happy Christmas and happy new year.


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (6.02): Mr Speaker, it has been an extremely big year for many of us here. That is very much the case for this side of the house. It has been a very steep learning curve for all of us. That learning curve has been helped substantially by the ACT public service, and I would like to use this opportunity to thank them all for making our transition to government so much easier. I refer particularly to our senior public servants; but every single one of them has gone out of their way to make our transition easier and certainly better with regard to the people of Canberra, and to make sure that everything has been done appropriately and in appropriate timeframes. I thank them all and I wish them all a very happy Christmas. Many in our public service are the ones who will really need a holiday because they have worked extremely hard over the last few months. I would also like to thank all the staff of the Assembly as well for making our life here in government substantially easier and making sure that we do not stuff it up.

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