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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5296 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

from the support staff, and the administrative staff for helping we MLAs to wend our way through minefields. I thank them and wish them all the best.

Of course, I must thank my constituents, particularly those who put up with me on door-knocking occasions and for bringing out the odd glass of water on hot Saturday afternoons. I wish all Canberrans a merry Christmas.

I thank my opposition Liberal Party colleagues here and wish them all the best as well, and I extend that to all of my MLA colleagues in this place. I thank you for your forbearance and I wish you all the best through the festive season.

I wish my wife and daughter a merry Christmas. They will be celebrating that somewhere in Yemen, having gone through the Eid and the Ramadan processes. I wish that to my son who gets off the plane first thing in the morning fresh back from washing dishes and pulling beers in London.

Finally, I also extend a particularly important happy and safe Christmas to all those volunteer firefighters, police and emergency services personnel, including those MLAs who turn out as well to serve in those ranks, who may very well find their festive seasons in the field sometime in the next few weeks.


MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.37): I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. I also thank all the Assembly staff for their work this year in all areas of the Assembly. It must be quite an unusual place to work at times and that must provide additional stress to them all on the job. They all meet the challenge so well and so professionally.

To Bryan Guest I pass on my best and wish him all the best in his retirement. He was one of the first people I had contact with in the Assembly as a newly elected member. As I sat in his office with my wide eyes I remember him giving me all the instructions about security and passes, and I have tried to obey the rules at all times.

I also thank those in my portfolio areas who have guided me through my first year as a minister. Thanks to the Office of Industrial Relations within the Chief Minister's Department and to the Public Sector Management Group who have responded so well to all the demands I have placed on them this year, to the Department of Education, Youth and Family Services and to the Office for Women, who, along with all of those areas, constantly impress me with the talent and quality of the staff that we have in the ACT public service.

I hope my Assembly colleagues have a good one. I hope you all have a break; I think next year is going to be a big one. To the staff in my office, including the DLOs, thank you for all the work you have done to support me this year. It is really appreciated. Finally, I thank my family, particularly my mother and my little girl, Abby, who put up with a lot from me this year. I couldn't do this job without them.

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