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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 10 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I also welcome, as did the Chief Minister, new MLAs to this place, especially my colleagues on this side of the chamber Helen Cross, Vicki Dunne and Steve Pratt. I am grateful, indeed, to the electorate for having conferred on the Liberal Party new blood-indeed, talented new blood-in all three electorates and they will be helpful as we build up our stocks for the next three years.

I have a number of thankyous, Mr Speaker. I want to thank, first of all, the Liberal Party machine which put in a superb performance at this recent election that was rewarded by the number of seats won by the Liberal Party. There are many who contributed to that process, but I particularly acknowledge the work of the party president, Gary Kent, and the campaign manager, Paul Scott.

My personal staff throughout this period, and indeed the last seven years, have been exceptional and better than anybody could reasonably ask for. I am grateful particularly to Rohan Greenland, who came back for a last hurrah with me, restoring an old partnership that went back many years in this place.

I want to thank, also, the voters in Molonglo for the strong personal vote which they gave to me in this campaign, the highest vote recorded for any candidate in the ACT. I hope to requite that confidence with much dedication.

Mr Speaker, the last 12 months has been enormously hard work. It has been exhilarating, it has been fulfilling and it has been tremendously hard. It has been hardest of all on my family. I want to publicly thank my wife, Cathie, and my sons, Felix and Owain, for all they have put up with in the last little while. I promise, in front of many witnesses today, to spend much more of my newly reclaimed time with them in the next few months.

Mr Speaker, I leave office with a great sense of satisfaction-satisfaction at the enormous amount which has been achieved over the last seven years, both under my chief ministership and under that of Kate Carnell, who is also present in the chamber today. Whatever might be said about this period, without doubt the ACT has changed. It has changed dramatically and it has changed for the better over that period of seven years.

Empirically measured, there is virtually no area of activity in the ACT which is not better today than it was seven years ago. Whether it is hospital waiting lists or literacy levels, the strength of the private sector or the size of the budget surplus, few can honestly say that they are not better off today than they were seven years ago. Mr Speaker, it is an inestimable privilege to have been part of that process of change and improvement in our territory.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Humphries.

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