Page 4965 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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I would like to thank my staff. At the moment it is a staff of one, and that has put a lot of pressure on Bob. I would like to thank Bob very much for his tireless work, particularly over the last couple of months, when there has been a significant extra burden on him. He is a hard working and loyal staff member and I am very grateful for the assistance that he gives me in the office. Mr Smyth mentioned the media. Mr Doherty has gone now, but I would like to thank Mr Doherty and all of our other friends in the media for their work during the year.

To my Assembly colleagues, both across the chamber and on my own side, thank you for the debates we have had, for the guidance I have had from some and for the general work that you all do. I know that everyone here seeks to represent their constituents as well as they can. I would like to thank you for the interactions we have had.

I cannot let the moment go past without thanking my wife Roz for her wonderful support. It has been a big year for us. We had baby number three, and the three boys are an amazing gift to us. What a wonderful family I have. I am very grateful for that and I wanted to put that on the record. Roz supports me and makes it much easier for me to do my job here. There is no doubt about that.

I would like to finish by wishing all Canberrans and those here a merry and safe Christmas. Tragically it is a time when many people lose their lives on our roads. We can only hope and pray that this will be a safe Christmas for all Canberrans and their loved ones. Once again, I would like to wish all Canberrans a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.


MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.31): Like Mr Gentleman, on this last sitting day of the year I would like to reflect on the past 12 months. Having been in this place for just over 12 months, I have found it on the whole to be a very satisfying experience to be able to make a small difference to many lives of people around Canberra, particularly in the electorate of Ginninderra.

I am very proud to have served under the Chief Minister and with colleagues in whom I have every confidence and to whom I owe my very deep thanks for their support and assistance in my role as a government backbencher. I thank the Speaker for his support and guidance. I thank those opposite and Dr Foskey for being in good spirits most of the time.

Christmas 2004 seems a long way away. But since I arrived in this place everyone that works here, the staff of the library, corporate services, the secretariat and the committee office have all made my life much easier—obviously easier than it would have been if they had not been here. The attendants all started off my day with a very cheerful hello, and I do appreciate that. Ben often distracted me with his trumpet playing late in the evening.

Members of the staff and DLOs have always been willing to assist my staff and me in every way possible and I thank them very much for their support. I would particularly

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