Page 3984 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (6:56): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to speak this evening. Firstly, I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing members. I will start with the non-Liberal members.

Deb Foskey and I clashed quite a bit when we first came into this place, but I have to say that having seen her close up through the committee process and over a period of time I have grown to respect her. I respect Deb for her tenacity and determination and for the hard work that she puts in every day. I am sure that being a crossbench member is a challenge. I respect the way that she has gone about her business and I wish her well for the future.

We respect Karin MacDonald’s reasons for making the decision to move on. To make that decision to adopt, to pursue a family in that way I think is fantastic. I wish you all the best in that, Karin. I wish you and Brendan all happiness for the future.

Mr Speaker, you are the longest serving member of this place and we honour your service. You have handled yourself well in your time as Speaker. Even though we often do not agree with your rulings, generally they are made in a fairly balanced way. I respect that, and I respect the way that you have gone about your business as Speaker. I wish you all the best in your retirement. I hope it is a very enjoyable time and that you have a chance to put your feet up and to go for a few jogs—maybe a few more than you have had the chance to do in the last few years. I wish you all the best.

Bill, you have been a loyal servant of this place, the people of Ginninderra and the people of the ACT and a loyal servant of the Liberal Party. You have held numerous portfolios, both in government and in opposition, and I think you brought a real passion to the way you do things. You are passionate about your values.

You talked about law and order in your speech, but there have been so many other ways in which you have contributed to this place and to the people of the ACT. You have fought for your constituents. You have always put them first. I think your final question today was a nice touch. You remembered why you are here. It is to serve your constituents.

Whether they agree with you or not, whether they are the really important people in our community or those who are seen by some as not as important, it is our job to represent them all and, Bill, I think you have always brought that to the job. I do wish you all the best in your new role. I hope you will have the opportunity to spend more time with your family, but I am sure you will do a fantastic job in your new role. I really do wish you all the best, Bill. I think you have done a great job. Congratulations.

To my Liberal Party colleagues, thank you for all the work that you have put in. I know that you really do work very, very hard. I know that all members in this place work hard, but I have seen close up that my colleagues Brendan, Jacqui, Pratty and Vicki have all done a fantastic job.

Mr Hargreaves: Good on you, Pratty.

Mr Barr: Good on you, Pratty. You don’t get a first name.

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