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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 28 August 2008) . . Page.. 3991 ..

The staff in my office have been there for me. Many of them have been there since the beginning, and I acknowledge them. They turn up to work every day. I think we have got a pretty happy office. I acknowledge all the work they have done for me and the support they have provided me.

Politics is certainly a rollercoaster kind of job. On the days that it is good, it is bloody brilliant and you will not get a better job; on the days that it is bad, you often want to run away and hide. It is a very difficult job to manage, but it is a privilege to represent my community. It is the community that I was born into in 1970 and have now had the privilege to serve at the level that I have.

It has been a rollercoaster ride for me privately since 2004. I lost my mum, but I have also had two wonderful children that I did not have. I did think my election campaign slogan could be “two a term”, but I did not want to continue that into the next term. I have decided that three is enough. To David, who sustains me, and to Abby, Charlie and Evie, you make life perfect.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (7.21): As we come to the end of the Sixth Assembly, 2004 to 2008 have been very eventful for us here and for the people of the ACT. There have been lowlights, which I will not dwell on tonight, and spectacular highlights.

For those of us who have been elected and for those of us who have had the honour of being re-elected, the knowledge that there are enough people out there, as Mr Smyth said, who think that you are doing a good job and who reaffirm you is empowering and humbling at the same time.

For the most part, highlights are the constituents and the community groups that you have the privilege to work for and who never cease to inspire you. As Ms Gallagher said, this is the best job. Sometimes people say to you, “I do not know how politicians do the job.” But for the people for whom it is the right job, it is, without a doubt, the best job that you could have. It is an unalloyed privilege to serve the people of Belconnen, Hall and Nicholls, as I do, and, through them, the wider community.

I want to pay tribute to the staff of the Assembly, from the Clerk’s office to the Committee Office to the people in Hansard and the library to the attendants, who keep the chocolates going on late sitting nights and give advice on footy tipping—some of it is not very good; not much better than my footy tipping. I know that it is always done with good spirit. The number of times that I have been advised to back Carlton around here is a bit pathetic, really.

I wish to pay tribute to my staff, the people who have served with me through the last four years. To Sean; to Kate, who had been there for a very long time and who still takes a great interest in what happens, although she now works in Conservative Party headquarter in London; to Mark; to Johnno the Scouse git; to Fernando; to Traps, otherwise known as Jeremy; and to Tio, whose indefatigable enthusiasm and good humour keep not only my office going but most of the offices on our floor going.

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