Page 3972 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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that I have spent most of the day lying around on cushions. People have been coming up to me and saying, “Have this, have that.” Katie sent out a staff member to buy me some electrolytes and Anna offered me honey and Panadol. This is the test of a caring community, and I have to say that I love you for that.

What now? I leave the job knowing that passionate, intelligent and well-informed Greens candidates are ready to take over. Hopefully with minority government there will be less nagging and lecturing by Greens and more wielding of power. I am excited about my next 10 years. I am fortunate in that I have a range of things I could do. I certainly have a range of things I am interested in and passionate about. I do not know what it is yet that I will be doing, and I have got to tell you that that is a bit scary. However, I do actually feel confident that there is something fantastic out there for me and that I will still be making a difference and hopefully having a good life. That is what I want. I want to thank everyone here for their contribution to the growing that I have done over the last four years.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Before I call Ms MacDonald, I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of a former member, Ms Helen Cross. On behalf of all members, I welcome Ms Cross.

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella): I seek leave to make a valedictory speech.

Leave granted.

MS MacDONALD: It is not good to start by crying, I suppose. Thank you, members, for the leave. Time in this place, for members of the Sixth Assembly, draws to a close. Mr Berry, Mr Stefaniak, Dr Foskey and I will not be returning to grace the benches of the Seventh Assembly.

I am aware that my announcement in January not to recontest the next election was a surprise to many. Some people ask me why would I not run again, having only served two terms and being relatively young. I have to confess that the joys of this place hold less sway on me now than they once did. In fact, I do have to confess I have probably been planning this speech now for 12 months or so, which makes it even more ironic that I only took it off the printer less than an hour ago.

Being given the privilege and opportunity to represent the people of Brindabella in the Assembly is something that I will always treasure and cherish but the time has come for me to do something else. In a few years time I hope to have my time taken up with the crying of a young child rather than the cries of the opposition. As you are all aware, Brendan and I have applied to adopt a child. The decision to adopt has been a long road for us and often a difficult one. My being unable to have children is something that has caused both of us a lot of heartache but I look forward to being able to provide a child with a stable and loving home. And please do not worry; I know how to lobby and if I find that the experience is less than satisfactory I will be over to see whoever the future minister is.

I wish each and every member of this place the best for the future, but not necessarily for the election. I believe that the people of the ACT get great value for money from

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