Page 454 - Week 01 - Thursday, 11 December 2008

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I have to say that if it was not for the friendly faces of the attendants and the chamber support staff, I do not know how we would get on. Remember, when we go home, they do not, and they are here before we get here, every day that we are here. Like I say, I have been here for a quarter of my working life, and they have always been here and they have always been cheerful. I think they are all mad! Can I wish you and all of your families and all of my own staff—

Mrs Dunne: You have probably driven them to it.

MR HARGREAVES: I have, probably. I take full responsibility for driving them nuts. Also, I did say thank you at the valedictories before the election to the staff that I had—to Geoff Gosling, particularly, my former chief of staff. I would like to say a big welcome to Jennie Mardel and my new chief of staff, Mark Kulasingham, and, of course, to my staff, Jim Mallett, Kim Fischer and Stacey Pegg. Can I just say, on behalf of my colleagues, a very merry Christmas and thank you very much to all of the department liaison staff that we have had in our offices. They have been sensational during the year. Have a great time and come back with a smile.


MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. Before we adjourn, I would like to add a few words. I appreciate that many of you have taken the time to thank the Secretariat staff in particular, and I would like to add, on behalf of all of us, an additional thank you to the Clerk and all of the staff of the Secretariat. For those of us who are new, they have helped us to find our feet in a way that I did not think was possible. For those of you who have been here longer, I think you have a much deeper appreciation of the tremendous work that they do. I think that has come through in this evening’s comments, and I thank you for sharing those thoughts as you have spoken. You will have an opportunity to thank them in person tomorrow between 3 pm and 5 pm at the traditional end-of-year function sponsored by the Speaker. I invite you all to join in and take that opportunity to socialise and reflect on the year that has been.

I thank you all for your charity towards me this week in taking the chair for the first time. It was slightly daunting, but we seem to have survived. I wish you all a wonderful festive season and look forward to seeing you all again in 2009.

The Assembly adjourned at 11 pm until Tuesday, 10 February 2009, at 10 am.

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