Page 3552 - Week 08 - Friday, 24 August 2012

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MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (10.13): I thank Mr Seselja. I, too, would like to lend my voice to express appreciation to the committee secretariat and to colleague members on the work they did in delivering this report. It is a good read. If you have a problem sleeping, have a good read.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


MR SPEAKER: I draw members’ attention to the fact that a former member of the Assembly is in the gallery with us today. I welcome Mr Mick Gentleman back to the Assembly.


MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella), by leave: This is my valedictory statement to the Seventh, and my final, Assembly. This is also the first and last time I am going to use one of these lectern things.

Mr Speaker, 14½ years in a job is a long time by anybody’s measure. To be given the honour of representing an electorate in this place is a singular privilege and one which I treasure. These years have been crammed full of exciting challenges, enormous highs and deep, very deep, lows. I have had the privilege of working with some amazing people. I have also worked with some that I would not invite to my home.

I have had a nomadic upbringing, never really calling anywhere home, because of my father’s military service. So for a bloke that came to Australia as a £10 Pom—since I was only three, maybe it was a £5 Pom—to even think that I could end my full-time working life as a parliamentarian would have seemed fantasy.

Being elected as the last man standing in 1998 was an interesting time. I recall saying to my campaign manager, Jim Mallett, on election night when we knew I had won—because I wrote the program to do the predictions, which was enhanced by a young Andrew Barr—“So what do we do now?” He did not know either.

I reflect every now and again on what it has been like working here and I have developed a sort of theory on what it is to be a member of parliament. In developing the thinking, I came to realise the difference between being a politician and being a parliamentarian. During my stay in this building I have seen each facet of both being played out.

Being an elected politician is just an extension of other forms of politics. We all have been there, on P&C boards, footy club committees, interfamily feuds, survival in the workplace. Being a politician is to advance the cause of the group to which one belongs. One is a delegate for a cause.

A parliamentarian is a servant of the people, a representative, not a delegate. Parliamentarians advance the cause of individuals and groups within the community

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