Page 4500 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (6.52): I would like to keep my remarks quite brief as well. I am not sure that I can follow on from Ms Lawder with the new addition to the Assembly’s repertoire, a stump poem, but she certainly got all the key elements in there that feature in the Liberal Party commentaries from time to time. I think it was quite an impressive effort.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the directorates that I have worked with this year. Gary Byles, the Director-General of TAMS, and the many staff through TAMS put in a very dedicated effort to look after this city to the best of their ability. To Natalie Howson and the team from the Community Services Directorate who deal with some of the most vulnerable people in Canberra and do it with great compassion and great enthusiasm—I thank them for their efforts in what is often a difficult working environment. And I thank Kathy Leigh, the Director-General of Justice and Community Safety, and her staff, particularly, in my case, the staff at Corrective Services, who work in a very difficult environment and do it with great enthusiasm, great compassion and a real sense of wanting to make a difference to the lives of those who perhaps are not as fortunate as the rest of us.
I would particularly like to acknowledge the departmental liaison officers who work in my office. We Greens can be an interesting bunch to work with sometimes. I think they have found it quite a cultural experience to spend 12 months with us. We have had a lot of fun. We go through a bit of shared food. It turns out that quite a few people in my office grow fruit and vegetables so we end up with all sorts of random shared meals in our office at times but it always provides a nice focus. I would particularly like to acknowledge the work of the DLOs, who really do a great job creating that connection between a minister’s office and the departments or the directorates. I also thank the ministerial and cabinet services staff, and Laurel Coyles and the team at executive support. It is a bit of a new experience moving into the executive wing, and we have really appreciated the support from those staff to help us do it as smoothly as possible.
I would like to thank my own staff, in particular—Larry, Neneh, Laura, Logan, Jarrah, Indra, Matt, Ali, Helen and, of course, Tom Warne-Smith, who some of you will have been quite happy to see the departure of. You all know why I say that.
To my cabinet colleagues, thank you for having me. It has been an interesting learning experience. We have probably all taken something from the last 12 months. I look forward to continuing to deliver the best we can for Canberra over the coming years.
To other members, thank you for your contributions, inputs and correspondence. It does make sure that I never have any dull weekends as I work my way through the significant piles of material. But I take it very seriously. Whilst the politics in here can get a bit rough sometimes, I actually do read all of the letters that come in, and we do our best to particularly get out and fix those things around the city that sometimes get