Page 4484 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013

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The ACT was the first amongst states and territories in Australia to introduce 40-kilometre-an-hour speed zones in the vicinity of primary schools. These speed zones were introduced in 1985. Since then, safety records around schools in the ACT have been positive and considered to be one of the best in the country. The ACT government is committed to maintaining this safety record and providing a safe and efficient environment for all road users.

Legislative Assembly—staff

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the minister, I would like to put on the record my appreciation to the staff of the Legislative Assembly as we come to the conclusion of the last sitting day of 2013. To Tom Duncan, Max Kiermaier, Janice Rafferty and all the staff of the Clerk’s office and chamber support, I extend my particular thanks. Their professionalism, knowledge and experience is highly appreciated by me, as the advice that they give me most of the time makes me look reasonably good. But I have been a bit off my game today, I think.

To all the Assembly staff in governance, business support, Hansard, the library, the technical support people and the committee office, I wish to express my particular thanks for such professionalism and the work that they do.

We run this Assembly on a very modest budget but we do often punch above our weight. I draw members’ attention in particular to a successful conference. I refer to the first time that this Assembly has hosted the Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference. It was a testament to the staff and it has been highly appreciated by those who attended. I had the opportunity last week to meet with a number of my Speaker colleagues, all of whom again reinforced their thanks for the hospitality of the ACT Legislative Assembly and expressed again their appreciation for the professionalism of our staff.

Last year at this time I contemplated whether it was appropriate for Assembly members to get a puppy for Christmas. I thought that as we are approaching Christmas again I should reconsider my ban on the notion of a puppy for Christmas. I have contemplated who would pay for the vet bills. When it was put to Ian Duckworth I think he probably had, dare I say it, kittens. Max has still refused to coordinate the poo patrol and no-one yet has shown me that there would be enough leadership and cooperation in this place that we would be able to home a puppy and ensure that it would continue to be well adjusted.

I do not think that we could agree on a roster for walking it. I am sure that people would commit to the roster and then renege. We could not agree on what it would be fed, what the kennel would look like, let alone the breed, whether we should go for pedigree or for rehoming some deserving bitser. So again, members, I am sorry; there is no puppy for Christmas for you lot.

I have considered that we might put 600,000 fairy lights on the ACT Legislative Assembly to mark the Christmas season but I have also been told by Ian that the

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