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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3881 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

His departure will leave a yawning gap in this Assembly, because it is difficult to imagine his interest in, and influence on, a large number of areas being replicated by any one person. He has certainly left his mark on the territory's health system. Indeed, at the end of September, he becomes the ACT's longest serving health minister.

His prodigious involvement has extended to areas like education, the electoral system, justice issues, drug policy, the arts and planning. He has specialised in all of those roles in breaking the rules, in turning conventions on their head. On occasion, this has amounted to pushing a square peg into a round hole, but generally-and I hate to admit it-the new rules Michael Moore has made have become (I use this metaphor as my revenge) the new bible in the field in question.

The best example of this was his decision in 1998 to accept a place in the Carnell ministry. That was a unique arrangement, and in many senses it still is a unique arrangement in Australian political experience. He became a full member of cabinet but with the capacity-a capacity often exercised-to step aside on some issues. Such an arrangement could have been a disaster but, curiously, it was not. Much of the success relied on goodwill between the cabinet ministers concerned, particularly between the minister who was stepping aside and the leader.

But, above all, this arrangement worked. Cabinet solidarity did not disintegrate whenever Michael Moore stepped outside the door. His influence and independence did not evaporate whenever he did not. The precedent he set by doing this is a very solid one. I predict that the model he has used in this and the previous government will survive and will be used again-not necessarily immediately, but it will be used again, and not just in this parliament. It may not be used by some parties, but for parties or governments interested in sharing power it is a very useful model indeed.

I will miss Michael Moore. He has been an extraordinary larger-than-life figure, one of the classic colourful characters of the first 12 years of self-government. Despite many fierce battles, he has been a great contributor and a great friend. He has been a man about whom you could say that when he got behind you he was there with you all the way. Vale, Michael Moore.

I might also take this opportunity to thank my very hard-working staff, who have been on a veritable roller-coaster for the last 101/2 months but who have risen to the challenge of serving me as Chief Minister with enormous aplomb.

I also want to thank the many public servants who have provided extraordinary service to me and to the ACT government in that same period of time. I look forward to working with all of them again in the future.


MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (10.54): On behalf of the Labor Party and on my own behalf, I also wish to acknowledge the contribution of Mr Moore to the Assembly over the last 12 years. I also join with the Chief Minister in wishing each of us who contest the election the best of luck in the contest and those of us who do not return here the best for the future.

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