Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 May 2009) . . Page.. 1856 ..
John has overseen a number of projects of significance to the territory, including the utilities package and, most recently, the ACT’s Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, which resulted in republication by the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office of 160 pieces of legislation.
John Clifford brings a strong client focus to his work and this has helped to establish the excellent working relationships with clients that the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office enjoys. His attention to detail and persistence with getting to the bottom of every issue makes him a formidable legislative drafter and it has earned him the respect of all those who have worked with him.
John Clifford has also built a great office culture at the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office. He has a special talent for finding the good in every situation, seeking opportunities and bringing out the best in people. He has built an office with a strong and positive work culture. He has demonstrated commitment to excellence in drafting and to public access to legislation. This has always been an inspiration for those colleagues who work with him. Always good humoured and helpful, he makes everyone in his office feel that they are making an important contribution to the work of the office and, indeed, to the broader goals of the territory. He is quite simply, Mr Speaker, one of those quiet, understated public servants, but without whom this place and this territory would be all the poorer.
John’s retirement plans now allow him to focus on his three beautiful grandchildren, and I know that he is looking forward very much to spending more time with his family. We will of course have to wait and see whether he has really finally discarded his legislative drafting tools or whether the lure of legislative drafting may be too much for him, as it has been for other heads of drafting offices who have sought retirement.
Nevertheless, Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Assembly I wish to extend a warm thank you and deepest appreciation to the work of John Clifford. He has, I know, worked closely with many members in this place. His contribution and his commitment to self-government have been outstanding and I ask members to join with me in thanking him for his public service.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition): We are pleased to support this motion today. The Parliamentary Counsel’s Office is one of the most important resources available to this Assembly. Amongst other things, it is responsible for drafting legislation, analysing legislative proposals, ensuring ACT legislation is kept at a high standard and, importantly, is easily readable and understood. It is also responsible for maintaining the legislation register so that it is easily accessible by the Canberra community.
Mr Speaker, the PCO carries out these functions with the highest degree of professionalism and with good humour, a quality that often is needed in good measure when dealing with the demands of members in this place. The Parliamentary Counsel, John Clifford, has inspired this professionalism and good humour.