Page 3997 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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really important work. I thank the committee staff, especially Robina Jaffray, and the secretaries and committee office for their support and commitment.

I would like to thank the attendants and staff of the Assembly. Everyone has been thanking them this evening. They help to make life less complicated than it could be. Their smiling and cheerful demeanour when we are feeling tired certainly does help us all.

I especially thank the Clerk for his wise counsel. I thank you, too, Mr Speaker for your help and guidance.

I would like to thank my Labor colleagues for all the work they have done to help me. I would like to thank the crossbench and the opposition. I know that we do not always agree. We have our differences of opinion, but we are all here for the same reason—to make this place a better place for all Canberrans.

I wish Ms MacDonald, Dr Foskey and Mr Stefaniak and Mr Berry well in their future endeavours. Ms MacDonald, in her role as a government whip, has always been there to offer guidance, as have all my colleagues.

Mr Hargreaves rates a special mention. He has eventually realised there is a real difference between instant coffee and real coffee. He tells me he has invested in coffee beans and all the equipment necessary for a good cuppa, and I look forward to sharing the new improved version with him in the coming years.

There have been some challenges during the term. As a backbencher I have not suffered the slings and arrows that others have withstood, particularly the Chief Minister and the ministers. However, of late I have had my share, which I guess is like some kind of coming of age in this place. I thank those who steered me through the rough and tumble of those less tranquil waters over the last few weeks. I feel the stronger for it.

On that note, I would like to thank my staff, past and present. Alice Graham was my first staff member. For the first few months after I arrived it was just Alice and me. I thank Ryan Hamilton and Jamila Rizvi. Those three people have gone on to work as political staffers for ministers at head office and the house on the hill. I thank my current staff, Annika Hutchins and Emma Smith and, of course, Ian De Landelles, my senior staff member, whose expertise and political knowhow has been invaluable. I wish him well in his future career. I know he will do well because of his many fine qualities. I would also like to thank my family, in particular, my husband for his forbearance. It is difficult when you have a political wife.

There have been sad events while we have been here, and I refer to the deaths of Justice Terry Connolly and, of course, Audrey Fagan, the Chief Police Officer of the ACT, which affected us all.

There was also the sudden death that has affected the whole arts community and many others, including those in the South Pacific community. I speak of Jan Warwrynzcak, a young man in his early fifties who died after a motorcycle accident. I would like to

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