Page 4492 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013

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Madam Speaker, I too want to wish all members, staff and family all the best for Christmas. There are a couple of areas of the Office of the Legislative Assembly that I would like to particularly mention. The first is the staff of the Hansard department, to whom I give a slight workout each sitting day come the adjournment debate. And I would also like to pay tribute and thanks to the wonderful work done in the education office. They do a superb job in bringing people into this place, which I know, Madam Speaker, is a particular mission of yours. The education office do a superb job in bringing so many school students into the Assembly and giving them a wonderful experience in how democracy works here in the ACT.

I thank all my colleagues on the opposition benches for your support and friendship over the year. It has been an interesting year for the Liberal Party, both here at the Assembly and over at the hill, but it is something that will make us stronger and something I know we will all build upon going forward to 2016.

I thank staff throughout the opposition corridor but especially those in the Leader of the Opposition’s office and, of course, in my own office. In particular, thanks to Ruth for her diligence and professional demeanour in all that she does and also to Rachel. I put on the record my thanks to the management committee of the ACT division of the Liberal Party, in particular to the five incoming senior positions--Peter, John, Tom, Tony and Arthur—and to my branch chair, Robert. I thank them for the service they give the ACT through the Liberal Party.

As I said at the beginning, I wish you all the very best for Christmas.



MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (6.30): At the last sitting for 2012 I spoke about all of the dogs I had met that year and the importance of improvements to the Belconnen dog park. When I came in to this place I did not think there was much I was going to find in common with your good self, Madam Speaker, but it turns out we share a love of canines.

Tonight, 12 months on, I am happy to rise to inform the Assembly of the completion of these works and to introduce the most important of the dogs I met this year. Sadly, earlier this year, Elkie the hunter, my loyal companion, passed away. Elkie was a great canine activist. Like many young political aspirants, she began her political career attending rallies as a radical young puppy. In her adult life she made a smooth transition, first to the role of community organiser for the dogs of Ginninderra and finally by coming into the tent as the adviser on canine issues in my office. She is greatly missed by my family and everyone who knew her.

Whilst the Assembly will not be getting a puppy this year, my family recently has seen the addition of a new furry friend. Cassie Cupcake, the canine campaigner, was a rescue dog and has stepped into some very big paws. Cassie is still learning many of the important skills of canine campaigners. But with her border collie instincts and the training she is getting in keeping our new chooks, Flappy, Orange and Tweety, in line, I know that soon she will be as good with a crowd as she is with a photo op.

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