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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1817 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

throwing helpful suggestions and questions back at us by saying, "Ms Dundas, you might want to look at it this way,"or "Ms Dundas, have you read this page of Odgers?"or "Perhaps, Ms Dundas, you don't really want to do that because it is incredibly bad."I have paraphrased a bit, but those kinds of things came along.

I have had conversations with the Clerk that have not been about him directing or leading in any way, but just gently suggesting that maybe I ought to consider things differently. Even when I thought I was being rather clever by saying, "Well, it is not in the standing orders, so I don't see a problem with my doing these things,"he would say, "Yes, Ms Dundas, you are right, it is not part of the standing orders, but let me refer you to Westminster practice and what happened in the House of Lords back when, and here is the procedure that has gone on for many years before."That is an important thing. We are part of a history that goes back many years, much preceding this Assembly, and Mark has been the link to that through the knowledge that he has brought with him to this place.

One of the reasons that we all have such great respect for you, Mark, is the respect that you show to this place and to the procedures that surround it. I know that I am speaking directly at you and not through the chair and that I should redirect my comments. The respect that you have shown to all of us, no matter what wacky thing we were trying to do and no matter how we were trying to circumvent the standing orders, and the respect that you have shown to parliamentary procedures have instilled within us great pride to do the same.

I do hope that you will enjoy your time at Murrumbateman. We will never forget the role that you have played here and we will always admire the photos of past assemblies. One thing about those photos that has never changed is, speaking through the chair, the presence of the clerks, who have always been there, with or without beards, to keep members calm and moving forward in their service in the Legislative Assembly.

Thank you, Mark. I do hope you will enjoy your retirement. I hope that it will be less stressful than the times that you have had here.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I understand now why you and Mr Cornwell look so cool up there on that bench. It is clearly a reflection of the way that you have cared for this place, Mark. Being a reasonably new chum, I can only listen to the anecdotes that I have heard tonight, particularly from Mr Wood, Mr Hargreaves and Mr Cornwell and the quite refreshing analysis from Ros. In the short time that I have known you, Mark, I can only be sure in my own mind that all those anecdotes are absolutely true and I have enjoyed immensely listening to those stories.

You have given me very clear and professional advice when I have come to you with a couple of sticky-wicket issues, doing so in much the same way as others have described tonight about how you have been able to guide people through the issues in an extremely objective way. That has been my experience, too. You have left your impression clearly all over this place, Mark. The way that the Assembly is so professionally administered is a reflection of your leadership. You have an excellent team here and that reflects favourably on you.

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