Page 3987 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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To Karin MacDonald, I want to thank you for your company. Thanks for the calming influence you have tried to exert over a long period of time and thanks for sharing Brindabella with Mick and me.

To Deb, being a Green in this place is a tough gig. You have been constructive, annoying, irritating, deaf, and sometimes a wise contributor, but always a bit colourful in a Greenie sort of way.

To Bill, I have enjoyed working with you. I do not recall a word exchanged in anger. I worked for Bill as an officer in the department of education. I enjoyed his company and I enjoy his company now. We will miss you. You are a great bloke. Congratulations to you.

Where has the Speaker gone? He has buggered off! When you talk about Wayne Berry what can you say? Words fail meā€”almost. I find it hard to believe that the old leftie warrior is hanging up his helmet and armour, unsaddling his horse and hopping into the rocking chair. We can all picture that. It is a dream all right-wingers and Liberals have wished for.

Mrs Burke: Is it really?

MR HARGREAVES: Yes. You have not been to an ALP conference with Wayne Berry, have you? Let me tell you, you have not grown up until you have been to an ALP conference with Wayne Berry. It is a dream.

Members, in all seriousness, the Speaker has been an icon in this place. He has brought colour, conviction and sometimes collision to this house. He has performed the duties of Speaker with aplomb. He would be at home, I believe, in the House of Lords. I do wish him well in the next bit of his life.

How do I feel? I want to leave you with one small message. Regrets? No, I have not had any. I live my life according to Omar Khayyam. I leave this with you:

The moving finger writes

and, having writ,

moves on.

Nor all thy piety nor wit

shall lure it back to cancel half a line

nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.

We should all look back only momentarily and ask ourselves: did we do our best with honesty and integrity? If the answer be yes, then we can sleep. I sleep well. I wish you all the very best in the election and I hope to see you back here next semester.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (7:10): Mr Assistant Speaker, I will simply say goodbye to Deb, to Karin, to Wayne and to Bill. Thank you for all you have done for your communities. I do not think many people, except for those who have done it or supported those who have done it, actually understand what it is to put your hand up

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