Page 3968 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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Fantastic Assembly staff—excellent, always brilliant. I would not have a clue how any of them vote, which is what you want. I have become personal friends with many. For example, the former Clerk has become a personal family friend—Mark McRae. And Dick Stalker—whilst I will be out of the Assembly, mate, I will still catch up with you at the Kippax tavern for a beer or two on occasions.

I compliment all of my staff. They have all helped in various ways on my journey. I compliment particularly my current staff. Clinton White, my senior adviser, is standing as a candidate. Good luck, mate. If you do not get it, I hope that another Liberal member will pick you up. I have yet to find anyone—of anyone I have ever employed—who can forensically go through bills so quickly and come up with salient arguments no matter what the topic is. Clinton has some great skills indeed—as has Haidee Cornish. She is a bit of a fount of knowledge in the Liberal Party and a guru in terms of constituent work, which she did incredibly ably in Margaret Reid’s office for many years and which she has done for me for many years as well. I commend Haidee to whoever might want to pick her up. You will probably be busting your gut to fight over her—in a nice way: she is very happily married. I mean that professionally. Part-time worker Robyn Nolan has been doing a bit for me. It is great to see her. She was a member and a great colleague in the First Assembly.

My family have put up with a hell of a lot. I am not going to go into that too much; I did that on Tuesday. The primary reason for me leaving is to devote the necessary time to my family and not be out on so many nights. I personally enjoy it, but my family certainly does not. I acknowledge my family particularly tonight. I acknowledge my wife Shirley, my stepson John and my daughter-in-law Jodie, who are in the gallery.

I look forward to my new job. One of the judges wrote a letter today which I am grateful for. I will be very fair and impartial and apply the law. I have learnt a hell of a lot in this job which will help in that one; it will help me immensely. It has been a long journey—at times very difficult, at times funny: mainly enjoyable, but always interesting. I will miss my constituents; that is what we are all here for.

I thank the party and its members for their help over the years, for the privilege of representing them in the Assembly. As I am now a quasi-judicial officer—or I will be from November 2008—I understand that I will probably need to resign prior to commencing my role in November. I will see out my term and leave on 18 October and go off into another life. I leave with a lot of fond memories, confident in the knowledge that, for all its faults, this Legislative Assembly has served the people of the ACT well on the whole. I hope that I have made a positive contribution to that. Thank you for the experience.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo): I seek leave to make a valedictory speech, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: It is a great honour to follow one of the longest-serving MLAs in this place, and I note that the other longest-serving MLA is going to speak last. Here I am,

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