Page 4971 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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Similarly, I thank the ACT Public Service. We have a highly professional, diligent, hard-working and committed public service. We, the government, impose on them mightily and enormously and they always respond. We sometimes tend to forget the enormous burden that the public service, in particular a small public service such as ours, carries. Our public servants are enormously professional, hard working and diligent. I thank each and every one of them for the work that they do for the government of the ACT, indeed for the Canberra community.

In that light, I also thank the community. There is a very high level of community engagement with the parliament and politics within the ACT. I think there is probably a higher level of engagement in the ACT than in any other place in Australia. It is a reflection on our intelligent, educated, connected community and I thank the community for that. I think that some of the successes that we have as a community, the social cohesion and the success of the community across the spectrum, across the board, is a result of the level of interest and the degree of engagement that exists from the ACT community. I thank all those members of the community that participate in the process of government and administration in those myriad ways. I thank them for their continuing support of the government and me.

I acknowledge our families. I particularly acknowledge my family. Politics is a tough business. Each of us takes a blow occasionally. One that gets under the guard is perhaps more than just a glancing blow, and none of us that can deny that. It is a tough, hard unrelenting business. Each of us suffers pain from time to time in the pursuit of the profession. We all know that. It is perhaps regrettable but it is a feature of an adversarial, democratic system and it is a sign of the health of the system. But our families suffer those blows from time to time and that we acknowledge the price which they pay and the pain which they bear on our behalf.

I acknowledge most particularly the role that my wife Robyn plays in supporting me. I thank her and all of my family for that. I acknowledge all of our families and the role they play in supporting us.


MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (5.53): I would simply like to extend my best wishes to all members of the Assembly and to your families and friends for a safe and peaceful holiday season. I would like also to echo the comments of many members in recognising the efforts of Assembly staff in the Secretariat—the attendants, the library, the committee office and a range of other functions around the Assembly. Thank you for continuing to provide for the effective management of this place throughout the year.

Can I single out the particular mention to two people who I feel do a largely unsung job in this place, and that is Mr Kas Paul who supports me as manager of government business in developing the program. Kas is a frenetic and always cheerful person who works very professionally in putting together the program throughout the year, and I thank him. I also thank Janice Rafferty from the Secretariat who assists us in making sure the language and terminology of our presentations in this place are always up to scratch. It is an enormous task every sitting of every year to put that web together, to

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