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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3094 ..

ACT Pathology

Mr Ross Maxwell

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (6.23), in reply: Mr Speaker, firstly I table a detailed response to a question taken on notice from Ms Dundas in relation to ACT Pathology. I present the following paper:

Pathology services to Calvary Hospital-Answer to question without notice asked of Mr Stanhope (Minister for Health) by Ms Dundas and taken on notice on 27 August 2002.

Secondly, I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Ross Maxwell from my office. Ross Maxwell is leaving my employ and the Assembly tomorrow. I wish to place on record my enormous gratitude and debt and that of the Labor Party to Ross Maxwell. Ross has been chief of staff to me in this place for just under five years. He has decided to move on to seek out other opportunities, and I wish him all the best for the future.

I take the opportunity to place on record in this place the enormous amount of work Ross has done over this last five years. I think all members realise and understand not just the pressure on us in the work we do but the significant pressure our staff bear, the rigours of the job, the stress and the commitment. For a chief of staff in a leader's office, I think we would agree that perhaps it is multiplied or compounded.

I would like to reflect briefly on Ross' devotion to the Labor Party and to Canberra. Ross is a local. He is a rarity to some extent. He was born in Queanbeyan, in the region. He comes from a rare family that has been in the district for over 100 years. Indeed, they were original settlers of the Goodradigbee Valley. Ross' grandfather was the first ranger employed in the Brindabellas or in Namadgi National Park. He was employed as a ranger at the Cotter station, which was in the midst of Namadgi back in the 1930s, and was singly responsible for the management of the entire national park. Ross' father, a stock and station agent, was famous within the district, to the point perhaps of being infamous. It is a family with enormously strong roots in the district.

Ross brought that background and that heritage to his devotion to the Labor Party. Ross is a long-time member of the party. Has been with the party for probably 30 years or more, and has worked assiduously in all that time for the Labor Party and for Labor aims and philosophy. He devoted himself very much to the election of this government. We all know that in every election campaign it is essentially the team that takes a party to victory. It is very much a team effort. But in every team there are some who, as a result of the position they occupy or by dint of their enthusiasm or commitment, play a significant role. Ross was chief of staff in my office at the time. He had a seminal role in the conduct of the Labor Party campaign, and indeed in the conduct and management of the Labor Party in the last term of this Assembly.

There are always plenty of unsung heroes in any organisation, people behind the scenes who do not get acknowledgment or recognition. It is a feature of politics. It is a feature of all sides of politics that there are a group of people who devote themselves single-mindedly and wholeheartedly to the interests of their party.

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