Page 339 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012
Finally, I would like to thank all of my colleagues here in the Liberal opposition who have done such an outstanding job. All of you deserve a great break at Christmas. You should take a decent break. You should spend time with your families. You should spend time relaxing, because I know you have all done outstanding work throughout this year.
To my colleagues on the other side of the chamber, I wish you all a merry Christmas. I wish a merry Christmas to the Chief Minister and to all of your team. To you, Madam Speaker, a merry Christmas as well. And to all of your families, a merry Christmas.
Can I thank, once again, the people of Brindabella. The people of Tuggeranong and south Woden have entrusted me with their votes. I thank them for that, and I wish them a happy and holy Christmas, as, indeed, I do for all Canberrans.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (5.17): I rise briefly to wish everyone a merry Christmas, and I mean that in the broadest sense across this building and across Canberra as well.
I would like to acknowledge the cleaners in the building, whom I have had the privilege of meeting on more than one occasion this year. They are here very early in the building, and I think they do a very good job.
To Siew Chin as well I pass on my respects and acknowledge the contribution she has made to the Assembly.
I would just reflect briefly on how lucky we all are to live in a place like Canberra. Whilst we have our battles in this place, one only needs to go to the world news to have a look at how some people will be spending their Christmas. There are many places in this world where people will not be enjoying a Christmas that Canberrans will be enjoying, so there is a lot to appreciate about the democracy we live in but also the beautiful city that is Canberra.
Next year is going to be, in the centenary team’s terms, one big year. It is a year to be proud of our city, and I know all 17 of us are, but it gives us a real opportunity to spread the message about our beautiful home.
I would also just place on the record and acknowledge the work that all the charities will be doing over Christmas. As Chief Minister I am acutely aware of the fact that Christmas is a very stressful time for many families. It is a time when we have to up our child protection staff, it is a time when we have to make available more homes for victims of domestic violence and it is a time when the courts are quite busy, so I acknowledge all the work that will be done by those organisations and public servants to support families in Canberra who will find this Christmas, like many others, a very difficult time.