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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 28 August 2008) . . Page.. 3990 ..

Of course, much of my work and my ability to continue in this place have only been possible thanks to the wonderful support I receive from my wife Rose and my four children—James, Luke, Amy and Laura. They have endured much over the last four years as a consequence of my election to this place and, frankly, the treachery of some others before I was ultimately vindicated.

I have enjoyed being able to assist my constituents on numerous matters and I have enjoyed being able to focus on critical areas of this territory’s administration.

I thank the Chief Minister for his good grace in extending good wishes in the campaign. Although we will be all fighting from different perspectives, I wish everybody well. The key thing to remember is that we have democracy in this country, and it is something we ought to be proud of.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Health, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability and Community Services, Minister for Women) (7.17): Firstly, I would like to acknowledge my colleagues on the Labor side with whom I have had the privilege to work now for seven years. Within the privacy of the caucus room you actually get to know people pretty well. You get an appreciation of their talents and their passion, and there is no doubt that the people that sit around that Labor table are passionate people that turn up every day to work to do the best job that they can do. It has been a privilege to work with them.

I have worked closely with our Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, more closely in the past couple of years than in my early years. He is the best boss that I have had to work for. He has been supportive of my development, but also in supporting the precarious work-family collision that I juggle every single day.

I would also like to acknowledge the staff here in the building. I sometimes shake my head and wonder why staff separation rates are so low. The continuity of employment here is the sign of a happy workplace to me. I do not know how you do it and what your secret is because I imagine that this workplace, with the dynamic and various personalities that you all serve, is probably one of the most difficult workplaces to work in. I appreciate everything that you do, from the Clerk to Ray—he is sitting there watching us right now, probably smiling at us, laughing and telling a joke—to the attendants who are always looking out for us. I thank the staff of Hansard, the Committee Office and the admin staff, who are always there to help when you need it.

I would also like to acknowledge the ACT public servants that I have had the privilege to work with in education, in health and in disability and community services. I refer particularly to Michelle Bruniges; Craig Curry, who I understand is retiring; Mark Cormack, the chief executive of health and Sandra Lambert, the chief executive of disability, housing and community services.

We are truly lucky in the ACT to have such talented ACT public servants. They really make a difference to the lives of people in the ACT. I work with them very closely, and they are amazing people, often doing very difficult jobs. I would like to record my appreciation for the support and advice that they have provided me. We have all had to juggle the challenges. You learn when you are a minister that things are not always black and white.

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