Page 451 - Week 01 - Thursday, 11 December 2008
I mention our families. To my own family, Lyle and Olivia, Tom and Julia, and Isabella and Connor, we are looking forward to Christmas, and we are particularly looking forward to it because we are flying our export home from Japan for Christmas. We will also be doing something that we do not often do, which is travelling, because, as our parents get older, it becomes harder for them to come and visit us. There will be some difficulty with facing the inevitable onset of age amongst our parents.
I say to all of you here, and to the staff, especially the staff that sometimes we do not see—we do not see the library staff very often, and the people who beaver away in Hansard—
Mr Smyth: Borrow more books.
MRS DUNNE: Actually, I see them when they come looking for the books that I fail to return. That is one way of ensuring that you see the library staff. To Tom, Max, Janice and everyone in Chamber Support who make this place run like clockwork, I thank you, and I hope that you enjoy a happy and a holy Christmas with your families.
I would like to reflect again on those people who will be serving our community in a whole range of ways, whether it is in the green zone or in a fire shed. There will be many people who will give up their Christmases so that we will have a comfortable Christmas, and I encourage you to spare a thought for them. If you are in a position to do something at Christmas-time, a little extra for your favourite charity or to turn out, say, to St John’s on Christmas morning and help to cook a Christmas lunch for people who are in much greater need than us, I encourage you to do that, because that is what Christmas is all about.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (10.48): I would like to echo the sentiments of my fellow members of the class of 2008 and wish you all a happy, green, sustainable Christmas, and the same to all the staff who have made the transition to being a new member as easy as it possibly could be. I do not think the word is “easy”, but it is a great privilege to be here, and I look forward to a great year for all of us next year.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Services and Minister for Women) (10.48), in reply: Many of us have had to answer questions for the Canberra Times on what the highlight of 2008 has been, what your new year’s resolution is and what you are doing in 2009. I really struggled on the highlight of 2008. I thought, “Is my answer the fact that it is finished?” For 2007 it was easy: it was the birth of Evie. For 2008, it is a little bit harder. I cannot actually remember what I answered now, when I sent it through. But it has been a really tough year, with the lead-up to the campaign, the campaign itself, the ups and downs and the adrenalin. Things are great when they go well and things are terrible when they go badly. We have the opportunity over the next four years to do some different things in the Assembly. I welcome that opportunity and working in a different way, in a way that the Canberra community have requested us to work.