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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 11 August 2016) . . Page.. 2732 ..


almost two decades ago now, they are not forgotten—Kate Crowle, Tom Bolton, Rohan Goyne, Gina Pinkus, Joy Nicholls and Abraham Gubler. I am in their debt.

Madam Speaker, when I first rose in this place I spoke about the importance of creating a city for people and of the need for citizens to be engaged in the life of their community, of the importance of citizenship in the broadest sense of the word, not simply voting but contributing, in work, through volunteer life, through our families and friends. I spoke of how we must measure our worth not by our economic value but by what each of us brings as a person to our city.

As a minister and as a member of this place, I have been given unique opportunities by the people of the electorate of Molonglo to make a contribution that goes beyond things I could never, ever have imagined. I want to thank the electors for returning me on six consecutive occasions and for the support of the many people who have campaigned and worked with me over these years.

In a few short weeks, the caretaker period will begin and I will step back from what has been my working life for 20 years. I can assure members and colleagues that I will continue, though, when the new Assembly meets and the next government is formed, to still be a citizen of this great and beautiful city, of my home, this beautiful home on the banks of the gentle Molonglo. And I can assure you all that as I seek new horizons and find new paths to travel, I will always find some way to make my contribution to a better, just and more sustainable society. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the Chief Minister, I put on the record my best wishes for Mr Corbell and thanks for his service to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Urban Renewal), by leave: It is a great honour on behalf of the parliamentary Labor Party—indeed all members of the Labor family and broader Labor movement—and on behalf of all of the friends who have gathered here today to say a few words about Simon Corbell. Simon and I have known each other I think for 25 years now. We met in Young Labor in 1992. I had joined the Labor Party just after Paul Keating became Prime Minister and bounded up to my first Young Labor meeting—it would have been early in the autumn of 1992. I rocked up to that meeting with an expectation of finding a group of people who would be passionately behind the Keating prime ministership, keen to advance the cause of the new Labor Prime Minister.

The organisation had as its secretary Simon Corbell. He ran an incredibly efficient, incredibly ruthless regime. I thought it would be enough to arrive with quality arguments and engage in debate and then the room would decide and you would win the day. It would be fair to say that I lost I think nearly every policy argument in that room at that time, whether it was the higher education contribution scheme, privatising Qantas, privatising the Commonwealth Bank—you name the issue, Madam Speaker. I am not sure whether it was because I was from ANU and Simon was from the University of Canberra or because I was from the north side and Simon was from the south side, or it might have had a little more to do with the fact that Simon was from the left and I was from the right. In those days I learnt a lot about political debate and I learnt a lot about how to organise within the Labor Party. The master of that at that time in his career was Young Labor secretary Simon Corbell.


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