Page 3999 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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daughter, Yasi, when I was told that, upon climbing into her mum’s car with her eight-year-old friend last Saturday morning at Mawson, she said to her friend, “Don’t bring that Labor Party balloon into this car.” My son, Hayden, is cruising around Europe somewhere.

I would like to thank my staff. Kate keeps me on the straight and narrow. I am a hell of a challenge for her but she does a bloody good job. I thank Brett, and Sarah, who I have just burnt out; she has gone. Before them, of course, there were Joanna Woodbury and Alan Eggins, who is in there with me now, and who knows where all the bodies are buried.

I thank the Assembly staff—Tom, Janice, Max and Sandra particularly, but all of the downstairs staff, some of whom picked up on my Beach Boys music, much to the chagrin of everybody else. Tom, I thank everybody on the staff.

I would like to thank all members on the other side. Individually, I wish you all the best in terms of what might happen this year, including the crossbenchers. This is going to be a very hard election, but I am champing at the bit to get to it, as we all are over here. I might finish off where I started: this campaign will be won from the grassroots upwards. I thank my constituency and admire them. It is our job to serve them; that is why we are all here. This campaign will go right down to the wire, but it will be a good campaign. It will be a hard one. We will, I am sure, in our own individual ways, enjoy ourselves.

It has been a wonderful four years. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to coming back. Thank you.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (7.53): I want to take a short time to thank all those who have helped me here over the last four years. I want to begin by thanking you, Mr Speaker, and acknowledging your outstanding career in this Assembly. More importantly, you have been a fantastic advocate all your life in standing up for people who are less able to stand up for themselves. I feel humble to have known you as a friend and colleague and will always remember your wise words as I approached my campaign in 2004, when you said something along the lines of, “I pinch myself every morning. I can’t believe they give me a salary and a car to come in here.” I remember those wise words.

I would also like to thank all of my colleagues on this side of the chamber. I would like to thank them and their staff for their assistance in my first four years in this place. I know that without the guidance of some of the more experienced members my time here would have been made much more difficult. I do feel incredibly honoured each time we sit in caucus together and nut out some of those important decisions.

I would also like to acknowledge the other retiring members of the Assembly—Dr Foskey, Ms MacDonald and Mr Stefaniak. It has been fantastic to work with you all. Dr Foskey has helped me in some of my environmental efforts and I do thank her very much for that.

I would like to thank some of the people who first helped me get here—Matthew Cossey and all my friends from the ALP, Tony Sheldon of the Transport

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