Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1943 ..
today, in referring to style, and it is starting to become a constant which I see as unfortunate.
As I said, it is one of those Assembly events that happens each year. Roll out the superlatives, do a dramatic, "How bad is this?"Mrs Dunne's performance probably got the Oscar today, for flamboyance and exaggeration. However, I thank members overall for what one can distil as a reasonable acceptance of the budget as it stands.
MR SMYTH(Leader of the Opposition) (4.54) in reply: I thank members for their input on the debate. I rise to give a couple of thank yous that I did not get the opportunity to give before, as time ran out.
The secretary of the committee was Mr Derek Abbott, and the administration was carried out by Ms Judy Moutia. I believe it is important that the Assembly and the community it serves understand the work that was done.
In particular, Judy handled more than likely the largest number of questions in a given period of time that any human being has handled-the Assembly or any other jurisdiction in the country. There were probably close to 400 questions, whether taken on notice or put on notice. All those questions were processed by Judy. I would like to thank Judy for the way in which she has done that process and kept up to date. The list continued to grow. When she received the answers, they were distributed to members quickly, which is something for which we should be grateful.
To Mr Abbott, the secretary, I offer my personal thanks, and I offer thanks on behalf of the community. I also offer the committee's thanks for the way Derek organised things and conducted himself during the hearings of the committee. He managed to keep a straight face through the 90-odd hours of hearings-or most of it. The phase last evening of going through it line by line was a somewhat different process. However, with almost 12 hours of deliberation, the secretary has served us well.
We went home some time after midnight. Some people did not go home until after 1.30 am, although I was out of the building earlier. Mr Abbott did not leave here until about 3.30 am. Having been involved in almost 12 hours of deliberations, he then stayed and did three hours of corrections to the draft and was back again very early this morning so that, by 8.30 am, he was able to deliver something to the committee that we could work our way through.
Mr Abbott has kept the minutes up to date and made sure the documents were ready for presentation. I apologise to members for the non-tabling of the report as I spoke, and I apologise for the time it took to table it. Apparently, we managed to burn out two photocopiers between the committee signing-off just after 9 o'clock and the time the report was made available to all members. When I spoke, I used my draft copy because even I did not get one. We had one copy to table. Again, it is a credit that we managed, even in the face of hardship this morning, to cope with the difficulties.
To Mr Abbott, I offer my profound and sincere thanks for the work he has done over the past six or eight weeks in getting ready, conducting, and wrapping up the committee. I move that the report be noted.