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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3896 ..


MR SMYTH: (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.50): Mr Speaker, I would like to start by thanking my family. Amy and Lorena are 15 and they give up a lot for me to be here. I do appreciate that. They mean an awful lot to me. Unlike Dave, I can name all my family and I will, in memory of my mother, dad: Ellen, Moya, Imelda. Angela, Gerard, Matthew, Loretta, Damien and Monica are all good friends. To my friends, Drew, Shaun, Robyn, Dick, Paul and all the rest, thanks for the support.

I thank the staff who have done so much for me and so much with me in the making of me as a politician and a public figure through the last 31/2 years-Michael Hopkins, Joanne Elsom, Megan O'Connor, Tamsin Davies, Chris Beinke, Helen Briggs, Adam Stankevicius, James Lennane, Tim Dalton and Pam Wood, who runs the diary so, so well.

I thank all the DLOs who have been in the office and have done a great job and were always part of the family. It has been a pleasure to work with the departments. I have really enjoyed the Urban Services portfolio, and then Police and Emergency Services, and Business Arts and Tourism. From the ASO1s through to the CEOs, they are great people and they do a tremendous job. I think one of the hallmarks of Canberra is the quality of the effort that people put in. Our public servants work very hard.

I thank all the Assembly staff that have been mentioned, the whole range, from the library to the Hansard staff, for all that you do for us. You certainly help the wheels of government grind on, and that is very important.

I want to mention the opposition and the crossbenchers. Edmund Burke said at the time of the French Revolution that the only condition for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. I am sure today that he would say that good people do nothing. That is true. If we stop trying, if we stop thinking, if we stop doing, it would be a very sad day not just for the city but for the country and for the world. I think Harold mentioned earlier the influence that we have on the region. I think it is fair to say that this city has an influence beyond the national boundaries and on the world.

Having attended ministerial conferences around this country, they all laugh and joke about us, right up until our vote counts just like theirs. What we do as ministers is incredibly important because as a jurisdiction that is not beholden to a lot of entrenched interests in the main we do have the ability to be forward thinking and to be innovative. We actually have a moral responsibility to do that and to change the city, the country and the world.

It is interesting that so many countries overseas look to us for ideas on everything from greenhouse gas to no waste by 2010. The OECD can come in and say that Canberra is the knowledge capital. They want to lift the public goodwill that we have been able to generate and take it around the world. It is a credit to the Assembly and to the people of Canberra, and that's good.

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