Page 3986 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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I have been blessed with very professional staff that have had a terrible time putting up with me. Bad luck! I pay their salary. But I have also been blessed with an office that, as many of you will know, rings with laughter, an office that is a welcoming one, an office that puts everything into what we do.

I need to name the people who have worked in my office in the Assembly, and with your indulgence, Mr Assistant Speaker, I will do so. Mr Smyth is the only one on the other side who will know this, but those who have been blessed with ministerial opportunity know the value of the departmental liaison officers, the DLOs. I have been really blessed with my DLOs. They are: Ashley King, David Jones, Paul Udovici, Geoff Virtue, Rachel Lee, Maria Mangeruca and Lee-Anne Wahren from the Department of Territory and Municipal Services. They are absolutely magical people.

Mathew Clissold was the DLO from disability services. Mathew was an environmental thug. Dr Foskey would have loved him. In the dead of night he liberated a whole stack of chooks from Parkwood. Most people would have gone home and boasted about it. Not Mathew. Mathew took the chooks home. Then he brought the eggs into the Assembly and boasted about it. What a wonderful guy this guy is.

Dr Foskey: Battery eggs.

MR HARGREAVES: Not battery eggs. They are in the back of Matthew’s backyard.

My Housing DLOs have been terrific, and I know that Mr Smyth has probably come across a couple of them in his time. They are: Pat Madigan, Kathy Smith—you might recall she was Kathy Hoekzma—Jancye Winter, Emma Taber, Tim Arkley-Smith and Keith Ward, who is with me at the moment. They are all magical people with wicked senses of humour, which is a mandatory criterion in my office. I have been blessed with cabinet liaison officers Tracy Chester, Helen Willson, Phil Tardiff and Yersheena Nicholls.

But all of our offices would not be the same without our political staff, and I need to tell them publicly that I would be nothing without them. I have had two chiefs of staff, Geoff Gosling, who is with me now, and this other fellow, Andrew Barr, who deserted me. It is typical. Your enemies are not in front of you; your enemies are behind you. He thought he went on to bigger and better things. He was wrong.

I have had media advisers. Liz Lopa is the only woman I have ever known to stand up to me and frighten the hell out of me. Mr Assistant Speaker, I seek your indulgence for a little bit of extra time because I do need to name these people. Mr Smyth, I ask your indulgence. (Extension of time granted.) My media advisers were Liz Lopa, Caitlin Bessell, Kim Fischer, Maria Vincent, Ian McNeill, Jim Mallett, Stacey Pegg, Andrea Walker—she is with me now—Jennie Mardel, Nicole Green and Marco Spaccavento.

I want to say a little bit of something about the departing members. With your indulgence, I will say just one or two small words.

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