Page 3994 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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MR SPEAKER: I have still got it. It survived. I call it Katy.

MR CORBELL: Tremendous! I knew there would be a comeback. Mr Speaker, it was, perhaps, a minor issue, but one that for me displays all the style and panache that you have brought to this place. Your contribution, of course, is far more worthy and weighty than that. I congratulate you on your time in this place and wish you all the very best for the future.

Can I finish by commending and thanking all my Labor colleagues. This has been an historic Labor caucus, with nine Labor members in the Assembly. It has been a time that I think all of us have savoured. It has been difficult at times for us. Being a majority government has been challenging as much as it has been exciting. Whilst we have seen the flag fray at the edges occasionally in battle and otherwise, the flag still flies high for Labor.

That is no doubt, in no small part, due to the incredible leadership of our Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope. He has been a solid continuum in our caucus for such a considerable period of time now, and I know that I join with my colleagues in thanking him for his leadership. I thank my colleagues for their contributions. We look forward with renewed energy to the next term of a Labor administration.

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (7.33): I will do the right thing and start by thanking my husband. He is the most long-suffering person I know and I could not do this job without him. The last four years have been a very interesting journey—in fact, my political career up till now has. Mr Corbell, I think I probably pip you by one, having got back into this Assembly twice on the countbacks, but the last time getting elected in my own right. I was once described as the comeback kid. I think that with my tenacity and my penchant for not giving up, I will be back.

I want to thank the staff of the Assembly. I thank Tom and his team, Andrew and the attendants, Chiew Yee and Siew Chin and the library staff, and Neal and the education unit. I am very passionate about the education unit. I think they do a marvellous job. People need to know about what we do and the machinations of this place that we live and work in. I say “live” because most of us tend to live a lot of our lives here. I thank Ian Duckworth and Corporate Services, the Committee Office, the people in Hansard, Ray, and the building manager. The list goes on. There are too many to mention.

Personally it has been a very difficult four years for me. I have had health issues. People loved it that I was a politician without a voice. But I have to tell you, joking apart, that it was probably one of the scariest things in my life. To be struck down literally overnight was not fun. To have to learn to breathe again and talk again was a very difficult experience. But having got through that, I think I can get through most things. An election—what is that?—nothing, no problem.

I want to thank my staff because for them it was a very difficult time too. To Helen and Sandy and Dean and others that have been in and out of my office, as they do in political offices—there does tend to be a turnover—it has been a busy four years but, I think, a very positive one.

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