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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1591 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

parliaments. All those people who have been through this place are my friends. Some of us might be a little strange from time to time, but they are all my friends and I have worked with them in this place.

If we take a view from a long distance from this place, we will see that really there are only minor differences between us. In this building we tend to magnify those differences. We all work genuinely in the interests of the ACT. It has been hard work, and all who have been here have worked hard. I particularly want to give credit to the various Chief Ministers and the various opposition leaders, and to everybody of course. In those positions in particular, it does take hard work and we have had people who have done that work.

Let me reflect on some of the lighter sides of my job. In my job I have been kicked around a lot, especially when I was a Minister. I was very occasionally praised. Let me focus on some aspects. I cannot forget the wind tunnel over the road there and those times, when asked a question by a TV camera person, I could not answer - not because I was necessarily stuck for words. It was just too cold and I could not get my jaw moving.

With other members here, I remember some very large public meetings in front of perhaps 500 quite irate citizens and having to survive those. In the end I think you enjoy such meetings. I know that Gary has been to a few when I have been on the receiving end, and he has no doubt been to a few when the roles were reversed.

I remember that "all night out" I had around the night spots of Canberra with Dennis Stevenson. I will not forget that. I remember the time under the protection - I was trying to find a better word; I am not sure that "protection" is the appropriate word - of Michael Moore I went to a Canberra brothel and to a remarkable call girl centre in Perth, Western Australia. I remember the courageous decision I took to cull kangaroos at Royal Canberra golf course. I think it was a decision that needed to be taken, but why was I so stupid as to take it? I took it, but I do not know why in the end.

I remember the time - I think I have got this right - that Craig Duby and I frog-marched Trevor Kaine past the multitude of TV cameras outside ICAC in Sydney. We put on a good performance. Unfortunately, it never appeared on the screen that night. I remember the time - and in this I envy Harold Hird - when I was the sole backbencher and on pretty well every committee. That was a wonderful time. I learnt more, I did more, and I enjoyed that more than almost anything else in this Assembly. It was great.

I look forward to many more experiences while I remain in this Assembly. It is different, it is productive and it is new. I value my time here with you all.

MS TUCKER (10.37): The Greens also welcome this opportunity to acknowledge 10 years of self-government in the ACT. A fundamental principle of green politics is participatory democracy, and self-government has certainly increased the possibility for the ACT community to be involved in decisions which will affect them. Many people in the ACT community expect to be involved, and I believe this is healthy. There is expertise and experience in the community which can inform government work and policy direction.

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