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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1805 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

motions-one in me-and read out the terms of 388 petitions. After hearing about those statistics, one could have a bit of sympathy for his decision to move on!

I should point out that clerks have a habit of staying on for a long time. If you go back through antiquity, you will find that the first people in the Westminster parliamentary system were politicians, of course, and clerks, with speakers coming later. It might have had to do with the violent end that some speakers came to during those years that the clerks accepted, as a tactical position that might be lifesaving, that it would be better to have a speaker than for them to carry out that role and inform other people about the decisions of the parliament.

During all of his time here, Mark has shown a steadfast commitment to the institution of the Legislative Assembly. He has given apolitical, independent and sage advice to members of all political persuasions, often within tight deadlines and usually under extreme pressure, and he has done so in his normal calm, relaxed manner. He is to be congratulated on that.

I know that I, along with all other members of the Assembly, have benefited from his assistance and advice over the years. I do not think that it is gilding the lily to state that Mark has made a significant, if not the most significant, contribution to the process of self-government in the territory.

I have looked through a dictionary to find an appropriate word to describe Mark's appearance in the Assembly and I think that "stoic"fits the bill. It is described in the dictionary as "of or pertaining to the school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium, who taught that men should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity".

I will miss having Mark around this place because he has been of great assistance to me in government, in opposition, and in the position that I now proudly hold. I hope that he will enjoy his new life at Murrumbateman driving his retirement package of a four-wheel drive and that he will spend some time restoring his 1952 Riley.

I must say that he seems to be a little youthful to be retiring, but if he is going to get that Riley going he will need a few years to get it up and running. If the electrics of those damn fine British machines are any measure, he will have to spend a fair bit of time keeping the electrics in that machine going. I trust that he will enjoy his work on the vehicle.

On my own behalf and on behalf of my senior adviser, Sue Robinson, who has been here since 1989 as well and has worked with Mark over those years, and Daniel Bravo, who works in my office now, I would like to thank him for all of his assistance and to wish him and his wife, Beth, all the best. I trust that he will have a long and fruitful retirement.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to move a motion concerning the retirement of the Clerk.

Leave granted.

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