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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3098 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

For Rosemary there is the General MacArthur award for threatening to return. Wayne gets the whiplash award for lashing his whip, obviously. Terry and Bill are going to have to share an award, and theirs is the Billy Hughes award for crossing the floor. For Andrew there is the elevator award. The elevator award is for being upwardly mobile. For Lucy we have the no chippendale award for protection of plantations, and for Kerrie the Rainbow Warrior award for prevention of irradiated frogs. Paul, my close colleague here, is going to get the Fred Nile award for fundamentalism. You would think the fundamentalists would have even more fun, and I am sure that that will be the case for my Independent colleague. I predict that it will not be too long before Fred Nile will be looking forward to winning the Paul Osborne award, Mr Speaker. For Roberta there is the Maggie Thatcher award for tongue-fu. Mr Speaker, I like to give myself an award over time, and for me it is the General Patton award for strategic plans.


MR OSBORNE (6.08): Mr Speaker, in my long football career I have received many awards, and I have won a grand final, but nothing rates with what I won today. It is a great honour coming from a man such as you, Mr Moore, and I do thank you. I would like to thank my staff for all the hard work they did this year. Coming into this place as I did, without any experience, they have certainly earned their money. I would also like to bid a fond farewell to that square head that we see just above the journalists' box there, Chris Uhlmann, who is heading off. You poor bugger, you. I know you are very disappointed, Chris, about not being able to report on the Assembly for the next couple of years, but I am sure you will be back, You are a glutton for punishment.

Mr Speaker, I think it is important that I stand here and reflect on what I consider to be the real meaning of the break we are having, the Christmas break - what we celebrate as being the birth of Jesus Christ. Early in the year the celebration was questioned during the prayer debate. I have to say that the actual date of the birth of Jesus Christ has never been of great importance to me; I celebrate that event every day of my life. Christmas Day became the annual public statement of that daily celebration. That has been an accepted practice in our society since the time of Constantine, Emperor of Rome. Michael correctly pointed out that Constantine adopted a previously pagan feast for the purpose of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. A wise man, was Constantine. He used an existing accepted event and renamed and reformed it to meet the needs of the people. The pagan holiday was already of such significance in the lives of the ancient Romans that he would have had no chance of cancelling the day, so a sensible solution was to redefine it. Clearly, it has been a success story for 1,700 years. Mr Speaker, Mr Whitlam used similar wisdom when he took the Queen's Honours List and renamed it the Australia Day Honours List. He took an accepted practice and redefined it, albeit on a different day.

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