Page 4958 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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here that none of us can do this job without our staff, and without the staff and the way they work we would not be, in some cases, as good or as presentable as we are, so thanks very much to them.

To my family, to my daughters Amy and Lorena, who are growing up: thank you for all you have done for me; and to my wife Robyn, thank you for all that you do in coming out with me to all the functions that I have to go to and you choose to come to. It is great to have a partner that is there with you all the time. Robyn, I thank you very much, and I look forward to our first child in March next year. So I am looking forward to a big year next year, Mr Speaker. I wish all of my colleagues around the house and those that we work with a very merry Christmas.

The group that we perhaps most often forget in this place is the fourth estate. The lone representative up there in the gallery will no doubt take note that I say thankyou to the press. We do not always get what we want, but we always live in hope that Christmas will arrive every day with a front-page story or the lead article on the news. So, members, thanks very much, travel safely over Christmas, and merry Christmas to you all.


MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.07): I rise today to wish all members a safe and refreshing break over Christmas. I do hope that you all have a wonderful time with families and friends and that you return next year invigorated.

To my colleagues on this side of the house I say thanks for your support in my first year in the ministry. In particular, thank you to my backbench colleagues: Karin “spell my surname properly, idiot” MacDonald; Mick “not a rebel in sight” Gentleman, and Mary Porter AM. I thought the AM was ante meridiem and meant she only worked in the morning, until I found out it was actually an Order of Australia, and I am really pleased about that.

To the opposition and to Dr Foskey: I hope you come back refreshed and provide me with even more entertainment; I say thank you very much for that. To the A team and the B team, may the battle begin and may your divide grow even wider. I look forward to that in the new year.

To you, Mr Speaker: thanks for adjudicating fairly and with humour, not always easy but done, I must say, with aplomb; a huge amount of aplomb, and I thought maybe you could do with a plum next year. I love the accent coming from the bench. I was thinking the other day when you were saying that you wanted robes and a wig—

MR SPEAKER: I never said that.

MR HARGREAVES: and I thought: I don’t know about the robe.

I would like to thank my office staff, Andrew, Lizzie, Maria and Ian, without whom my office would not enjoy the fine reputation it has. Our year just showed that shouting at

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