Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1812 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
I am sure that other members feel the same way. I know that you have given everyone brilliant advice. I greatly appreciate what you have done for this Assembly and, through that, what you have done for Canberra. You have enriched the lives of all of us and you have brought great credit to this place as Clerk from its virtual inception.
To you, to Beth, to Alex and to Andrew, all the very best for your time out of this place. Don't go away, mate; I am going to come out and see you at Murrumbateman and have a few drinks with you. I am sure that we will all catch up with you from time to time and I know that you will keep involved with this place. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for all you have done for this Assembly and personally thank you for all the great assistance you have given me and the friendship you have shown to me and my family.
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I think it is a rather pathetic exercise to go away to Murrumbateman just so that he does not need to show how he votes in the ACT, quite frankly!
Mr Speaker, I rise in this place to add my best wishes to the Clerk in his endeavours to find a quiet, peaceful existence far from this madding crowd. I do not know whether members are aware of the origin of the position of clerk. It actually stems from the English parliament having to have at least one person in the building that could read and write. I do not know whether the situation is all that much different today!
I extend my appreciation to him for his wisdom, his discretion, his dignity and the professional services he has given to this place and to me personally over many years. I have witnessed his management of this place and the smooth running of all support functions which have been provided, often in trying circumstances. Today has been a pretty good example, I reckon. We have had every thing possible go wrong today, other than a no-confidence motion, and the only person who was not in a flap, I suspect, was our beloved Clerk.
Mark McRae's patience with new members should be the hallmark of the time that he has been here. It is worth noting that this Assembly welcomes about 30 per cent of its membership as new members in each Assembly. Mark McRae and his staff have been there to educate about a third of the Assembly each time an election is concluded. I used to refer to it as baby-members' school.
Ms Gallagher: And re-educate another third.
MR HARGREAVES: There is an ongoing education program and, I suppose, there is a re-education program for recalcitrant people, unless, of course, they are elevated to the speakership, in which case you do not get to do it any more.
Mark McRae has performed the role of Clerk of this Assembly in the form of a gentle guiding hand offering advice from experience going back over many years before this Assembly was even born and he has conducted himself with style and class, things to be emulated by those that follow him.
When I first came here I was a touch afraid of the Clerk. I remember the regimental sergeant majors in my army days and I saw the similarity. But the courtesy and gentle