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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1810 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

something like that. Thank you, Tom, you did not help me one bit! Your loyalty is respected, except, I suppose, that there is nothing there. "Stoic"is the word you used, Mr Speaker. Mr Smyth used other words. I would use the word "impassive".

Overall, this place has been pretty sensible, but there have been times of nonsense and foolishness and on all those occasions Mr McRae has kept a fairly impassive face. Sometimes you can see a slight frown if there is a bit too much noise in the chamber. Did you know that that was slightly obvious? Just sometimes you could glean that there was a bit of disapproval about that. Like a child at the back of the classroom, depending on my mood on the day, I would quietly retreat into silence or otherwise.

The thanks for all here have been well said. I give you my personal thanks for what you have done over that long period.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, although I have done about 21/2 years less than you and Mr Wood, I suppose I am one of the old stagers here. When we started back in May 1989, I thought that the then Clerk and Deputy Clerk were pretty good and really helpful. I think the old Clerk has since retired. I must admit that in November 1989 I had a bit of trepidation about what the new bloke and his deputy, Tom, would be like, because I had just got used to the then Clerk. I could not have been happier.

I would reiterate what everyone else has said. Since November 1989, I have come to know Mark very well. I was Deputy Speaker in the First Assembly and I greatly appreciated the assistance that he and his deputy gave me as a new member and in that role. I found him then, and have continued to find him, unflappable. Lots of adjectives have been used to describe Mark. I jotted down a few, some of which have been mentioned already, but he is unflappable.

Bill Wood mentioned that Mark occasionally shows a bit of an expression on his face, but not very often, because he is a complete professional. I have seen a lot of Mark in this place and socially and I do not think that I have ever seen him angry. I might have heard him raise his voice ever so slightly once, and that was not in a professional capacity, but I do not think that I have ever seen him get flustered or angry.

He is one of the most affable people you could deal with and a thoroughly decent and nice bloke as well. I have always found him to be very solid and very polite. He gives polite but very fearless advice and you know that if you are going down the wrong track he will pull you back with his frank and fearless but always very polite advice. I found him to be incredibly knowledgeable, a complete professional and someone whose advice has been faultless.

In the First Assembly, I came to know all of those qualities, which grew in the years I knew him. In the time I was out of the Assembly, I continued my contacts with Mark and his family and I regard him not only as someone I happen to work with who is a complete and thorough professional that has done so much for this place, but also as a really good mate.

It has been difficult for me to think of something Mark has done that I can throw back at him, apart from being a Collingwood supporter, which is always an excellent way of throwing something back at someone, although I must say they have won a lot more

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