Page 3859 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
I welcome any discussion on improving road safety and I look forward to seeing the ACT road safety action plan 2014-17 when it is released.
Ms Celeste Italiano
MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the minister to move the adjournment, I would like to make a statement to the Assembly concerning the imminent departure of Celeste Italiano, who has been the notice paper and projects officer in the Chamber Support Office for over 10 years. I asked the Clerk to put together a couple of notes for me, for which I thank him, and in doing so he informs me that over the past 10 years, in addition to producing every notice paper, Celeste has processed over 6,645—it is quite precise—questions on notice and their answers. Most of those would have come from the opposition benches, I would warrant.
Celeste has also been involved in a number of important projects associated with the Assembly. These include, along with the Clerk, ensuring that the Assembly logo—a matter dear to the Clerk’s heart—is placed on almost every Assembly document and gift, as well as ensuring that the logo guidelines are adhered to; organising a myriad of conferences, including many of the activities associated with the 20th anniversary of the Legislative Assembly; three conferences in 2010—that is, the Australia and New Zealand Association of Clerks-at-the-Table, the Australian Study of Parliament Group and a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association regional seminar.
I want to pay particular tribute to Celeste on my own part for the role that she played in this year’s first-ever meeting of presiding officers and clerks held in the ACT. The organisation of that conference was widely and universally praised. It was not any reflection upon me; it was mainly a reflection upon the work of the Clerk’s office and principally the work of Celeste Italiano.
Celeste has also been pivotal in her contribution to the Companion to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly, which has been a tremendous benefit to all members and staff—more so to me since I have become the Speaker. There is in the standing orders what has become known as the Celeste Italiano standing order, which is standing order 125. This is in recognition of Celeste’s attempts to help clean up the notice paper. I think Celeste got sick of writing to people and asking whether they still wanted to deal with matters that had been on the notice paper for a long time. So the standing order now provides that if a motion is not called on within eight sitting weeks then it automatically falls off the notice paper. That makes Celeste’s life easier and keeps the notice paper to a manageable size.
I have seen Celeste’s work over a long period of time and I have always valued it. I particularly valued the fact that she was always very good to us when either I or a member of staff came down right on 12 o’clock—sometimes it was even a bit after—to put in a question on notice. She was very obliging to ensure that those questions went on the notice paper.