Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4309 ..
MR HIRD (continuing):
I would also like to thank my staff and the staff of all the members here. They make my job that much easier. That goes for the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk and all others within the building. It functions so well, which makes it easier for those who have to undertake tasks here. Nothing is ever too much of an effort. I have to say that the guy who really stands out in respect of nothing being a problem is Barry Schilg, the Building Manager. He is absolutely superb. Thank you, Mr Speaker, and Merry Christmas to you, too.
MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (4.27 am): I understand that the Chief Minister will do the broad thank-you speech and I am happy to support her in that regard. I would like to say something quite different. I have spent more than a decade in this Assembly. In reflecting on the last year, I have to say that I think that it was the most acrimonious and the most negative year that I have had in this Assembly. I think that is illustrated by looking at who is still sitting in the Assembly; granted it is late.
Mr Quinlan is here. He has a sense of humour and is always prepared to pitch in, but I have to say that one of the great disappointments for me in this Assembly has been the acrimonious nature and the negative nature of the year. In the Labor ranks in particular there is one notable exception to that. It comes as a great surprise for me, and you will find it a surprise for me to say it, that that is Wayne Berry. I have already excepted Mr Quinlan. It is interesting that I should say that about Mr Berry, but Mr Berry introduced seven pieces of legislation and had six of them passed. He has clearly worked quite hard for his constituency. I have probably voted against all of them - I cannot remember - but he was working positively and constructively for his constituency, which contrasts with a great deal of the negativity, the pulling down and the muckraking that have gone on throughout the year. I hope that, as people think about Christmas and the Christmas spirit, they will also think about trying to build a more positive year in the new year of the new century of the new millennium.
For me, it has been a tough year. I would like to thank my staff and the staff of all of the Ministers for their incredible loyalty and incredible support through some pretty tough times. Most importantly, I say to my colleagues, "I love youse all".