Page 6013 - Week 14 - Thursday, 8 December 2011

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MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (5.40): Mr Speaker, I rise in this adjournment debate to say thanks to those who have got me through this year and my years in the Assembly and to those who have been a significant part of my life for so long. Mr Speaker, we spend more hours in a week with our work colleagues than we spend with our families. So I feel the need to thank those who have shared my highs and lows in the last year with me.

The chamber has been the focal point of much of my entertainment this year, giving me cause to smile, to laugh and to be the butt of some stinging repartee. It has been a serious time with much good legislation, much emotional and passionate debate and some serious sledging.

I said at this time last year for us all to be wary. This place can kill. Parliaments are well-known killing fields, and we must all be watchful for not only ourselves but our friends and colleagues as well.

Each year I say thanks to the Clerk and to his crew. To the attendants, I say thanks for their professionalism, their friendship and their concern for our welfare. These people are often undervalued and unseen by the community at large, but not by me. You can get advice from this lot on almost any subject—for example, if you want some paint for your lawn, a tip on the horses, unsolicited advice on football by inarticulates like Carlton or St Kilda supporters, or on any subject you like.

Thanks to Hansard and the techos, especially Sting Ray Blundell. Thanks to the library and the education guys, thanks to the committee office. Sorry if I have been a difficult old git at times. Thanks to the IT gurus.

Mr Smyth: At times?

MR HARGREAVES: At times. I expected you to enter this debate a bit earlier than that!

Thanks to Corporate Services and to Chamber Support. We members come and go—some not quickly enough perhaps—but these guys continue on, supporting us all—new and longer serving members. Thanks to Kas Paul. Mate, enjoy your retirement. Kas has been a signature part of this place for as long as I can remember. His demeanor is an often calming one—for me, anyway.

Members, you all will be going into the election year next year, and I wish you all the luck you deserve. I said that about a former Chief Minister once and got myself into a bit of hot water, I remember. But I just ask that you remember the pressure on your families. My family—my wife, Jenny, and my daughters, Tracey and Amanda, and their families and my sisters and brothers and their kids—have been my mainstay and I owe them heaps.

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