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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2389 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Quinlan ) agreed to:

That leave of absence from 28 June 2002 to 19 August 2002 inclusive, be given to all members.


Motion (by Mr Quinlan ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Ms Maureen Weeks

Chief Minister

MRS DUNNE (5.34): Mr Speaker, I will use the adjournment debate to cover a couple of issues. Firstly, I would like the Assembly to note that this is the last sitting day that the Assembly will have the services of Maureen Weeks, who is moving to the Senate.

I would like to pay tribute to Ms Weeks. When I first came to this place back in 1996 she, along with other professional staff secretariat, showed me the ropes, and much of what I know about the forms of the house I owe to her teaching. Ms Weeks is the secretary of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment, and it is in this area that I owe her most. As chairman of that committee, I found Ms Weeks to be a secretary to dream for-the secretary from central casting and the answer to the dream of any new and green chairman.

She is accomplished, she is professional, she knows the ropes, she knows how it is done, and she is always there with the right word of advice. I thank Ms Weeks for her contribution to my committee and to this place. I think that her leaving is this Assembly's loss but the Senate's gain, and I wish her well.

Mr Speaker, I would like to refer to another matter. There is an old definition of insensitivity in the form of a musical joke that is a simile about making love in Wagnerian style to a Debussy woman. It sharply contrasts styles and juxtaposes the incongruous. It is a clever shorthand sketch of crassness, of utter inappropriateness. It is, as the Yiddish speakers amongst us would recognise, a portrait of a klutz.

What brings me to these musings, Mr Speaker, is a short item in the Capital Times column in the Canberra Times of Wednesday 19 June in which none other than the Chief Minister is described as having "gobsmacked his audience at the opening of the new Indonesian Embassy Cultural Centre". It was reported in the column that the

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