Page 2358 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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can say is that you are far and away the best thing that has ever happened to me. The term “batting above your average or punching above your weight” was designed to apply to me. I love you dearly.

That brings us to this day and what I have learned from my experiences here that will take me on the next part of my journey. Madam Speaker, there is a theme that flows through all I have done and which will drive me into the future, and that is values—values I learnt from my parents as I grew up in Canberra, values I try and instil in my own family with my beautiful wife, Ros. They are values from my faith and values that I think I share with many Canberrans.

They are values that have guided every decision every day. They are values that led me to the Liberal Party, because the Liberal Party believes not in imposing an ideology onto the people, but which respects and empowers people to achieve freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of worship are the great freedoms which allow people to prosper. They are enduring values I will always hold dear and will always work to protect. The rule of law helps us to live together in peace. It is something we can sometimes take for granted, but I believe deeply in its value for a better society and the need to aspire to this.

I believe that those who work hard should be rewarded for that hard work, not brought down. But I also believe in our responsibility to contribute to society and to care for and empower our most vulnerable citizens. I believe governments should encourage job creators and aspirational Australians, that they should provide the opportunity for them to improve themselves rather than impose impediments to success. These values permeate the Liberal Party, which is one of the reasons I am proud to be part of it. I am proud of the friendships I have forged, the fights we have fought together and I hope that the future will see even more success.

I am proud of the part I have played here so far. I will continue to live by and fight for these values in the future. I am proud to have served the people of Canberra. For so long they have shown trust, support, encouragement and belief. For so long I have tried with all my effort to repay that trust with diligence and honesty. Finally, I will leave with a few words for anyone looking into the future: drive for your goals, live by your values, keep your faith and dream the big dreams. You may not get everything, but it will be well worth the journey. Thank you.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition), by leave: I thought everybody had got here early for my budget in reply this afternoon! Zed, it is a great honour for me to stand in this place to say a few words on behalf of all my colleagues, and the deputy will speak as well. But I know that what I say is shared by Giulia, Andrew, Steve and Brendan as well. You would have made a great Chief Minister, Zed. You came very close—about as close as someone can. And the best way I can express how much I believe that is that if I were given the choice of being opposition leader or serving under you as a minister in your ministry, I would have chosen the latter, because that would have been better for Canberra. I think we all understand you would have made a great Chief Minister.

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