Page 4489 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013

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MR WALL (Brindabella) (6.19): Becoming a parent for the first time is an exciting and joyful milestone in anyone’s life, should they be lucky enough to experience it. Naturally, a first-time father is filled with a huge sense of achievement and is so proud it is understandable that every opportunity is seized to tell the world of this news. Madam Speaker, I am no different. On 8 November at 4.10 pm, Sophia Katherine Wall was born into this world weighing 2.83 kilograms, six pounds and four ounces on the old scale—48 centimetres in length, with 10 fingers, 10 toes and a full head of hair.

As many members would appreciate, Christine and I are now having to quickly come to terms with the new centre of our universe. She already possesses the significant power to control our sleeping patterns. It goes without saying, though, that Sophia is the most gorgeous baby ever to be born into this world; of course that is my unbiased opinion.

Whilst becoming a dad is probably the biggest achievement of the year for me, there are a number of points I would like to reflect on following my first year as a member in this place.

From the outset of being elected as a member for Brindabella, my focus has been primarily on the local issues that impact my constituents on a daily basis, be it the footpaths in their suburb, paint falling from a new pedestrian bridge, a missing street sign or antisocial driving behaviour. Sometimes we are able to provide the impetus to see an issue resolved. Sadly, at other times the ideology gets in the way of common sense.

To the residents of Uriarra Village, the fight to protect what makes your village special is not yet over. I appreciate the dedication and support that many of the residents out there have given to me over the past months. I hope that they all have the opportunity over the Christmas break to get some well-deserved rest and to take the opportunity to reflect on their combined efforts and achievements as a community.

Much of what we do here as members is not possible without support, be it from our family or from friends, staff or respective political parties. I would like to acknowledge continued support from all members of the southern electorate branch of the Canberra Liberals, with particular thanks to those members who have served or continue to serve on the branch executive. Taking on any of these roles is demanding and requires a substantial contribution of voluntary time, particularly in an election year. For that, all members are grateful.

My office simply would not function if it were not for the efforts of the two Kates in my office. Kate Davis has a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from her time here at the Assembly and has helped to successfully guide yet another member through their rookie year in the Assembly. Kate has offered sound advice, direction and support through the year, and for that I am indebted. Katie Lankuts continues to

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