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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3883 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I thank also all the staff, particularly those on the Labor team. Opposition is not easy. Some of you may know that. Some of you, I hope, will come to know it. Opposition is particularly hard and rugged. We are under-resourced. That is one of the issues I spoke of today. I commend the work and stickability of all the staff of the Labor members.

I also acknowledge all staff in colleagues' offices. There is a close working relationship between our staff and other staff in government offices. We are aware of that, and we appreciate it. The relationships are good and quite strong. I acknowledge the support we receive, particularly in our constituency work, from other members of staff in this place.


MR WOOD (10.59): Mr Speaker, on the very first day of the very first Assembly, I stood up, without leave, and I made a short speech, just to get myself on the record on that first historic day. I was less conversant with standing orders then, although I still claim not to be a great expert in that area. I do not know whether this will be my last speech in this Assembly. Who knows? I am something of a Beazleyite. I get quite pessimistic about elections.

I sat here earlier tonight and did what some political pundits do and in alphabetical order worked out people's chances of re-election. I said, "This person has a 75 per cent chance. This person has a 50 per cent chance." I wrote it all out and was going to read it. The problem was when I got to "W", being a pessimist, I decided I would not read it after all.

It is a wonderful experience to be in this place. Following the debate earlier today, I am not convinced that it is anywhere near as oppositional and as adversarial as some people think. We have our moments of course, and they are probably heavy in our mind, but for the most part this Assembly works well and it works through cooperation. Is that not the case?

Before I sit down, I want to thank people. I thank all those people on committees. I thank David Skinner again, as I did the other day, and my colleagues Harold, Jacqui and Dave who have worked on the health committee with me. I enjoyed that experience.

All the staff who make this place run do a terrific job. I am especially grateful for the little hints I get when I am in the chair. I need those. I particularly want to thank Margaret Watt. You all know Margaret. She has been here a long time, and I think you would all agree that she is the best thing my office has going for it.

Mr Stanhope: Get her to run, Bill.

MR WOOD: That has been said before, but that is another matter. I want to thank my wife, Beverley, who is the artist in the family. It may be that I will have some spare time in the future, but I do not think, Ted, I will be looking for a garret and some brushes.


MR KAINE (11.02): As this Fourth Assembly reaches the last minutes of its life, I would like to record the level of sheer fun and joy I have had in this place over the last 31/2 years. It is a wonderful, exhilarating experience to get up every morning, to come to

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