Page 2834 - Week 08 - Thursday, 11 August 2016

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I wish you well in the election campaign up to a certain point—up to a certain point. As the Leader of the Opposition and I exchanged in the corridor this week, we will have a robust and passionate debate about the future of this city but we have each other’s mobile numbers in case anything goes badly wrong. We can make that phone call to say, “Hang on, things have got a little bit out of hand.” And I think that is as it should be and I certainly appreciate that that dialogue can occur.

I would like to thank everyone who assists in making this place function effectively. To all of the Assembly staff, thank you for all that you do for us, most of the time making it look like we know exactly what is going on in the legislative process. So to all of the Assembly staff, thank you very much.

To my office, it is a great pleasure to work with such a team of dedicated staffers. I am blessed, I believe, to have the best office in the Assembly but every other member will of course contest that and will take the opportunity, I am sure, in their remarks tonight to acknowledge their team. But we are only able to do what we do with the support of our staff and of our families and friends.

It is undoubtedly a very challenging role, public life, but it is, as we all know, incredibly rewarding. There is something about this city and this parliament: our closeness to our constituents, the ability to see good public policy enacted quickly, and to demonstrate national and international leadership in so many areas. And that has been a really important part of the past four years in this place in particular.

I look forward to that continuing and I certainly hope that the campaign that lies ahead of us—the election process, the festival of democracy—will see passionate people elected to this place, people who have ideas for the future of this city. I hope that a majority of them are on the progressive side of politics but it is important in an expanded Assembly where there will be a lot of new members that those of us who have the experience in this place can continue to play a leadership role for the city.

It is going to be very important for Canberra. We are at a significant crossroads in terms of our city’s future. I agree with the Leader of the Opposition on that. It is a case of one direction or the other. It is very clear in this election and that is again a good thing. We certainly will not hear commentary about the 2016 ACT election that there was not really a choice—that it was Tweedledum and Tweedledee. It will be, very different. I look forward to that. It is a good thing for the city.

Thank you to all who have contributed to public debate in this Assembly in the past four years. I look forward to seeing you; I imagine that most people will be back, given there are going to be eight extra members. You would be doing pretty badly not to get re-elected as an incumbent this time.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (8.35): I would like to thank Mr Barr for some of his comments. He has certainly thrown down the gauntlet for all of us but I would hope that the majority of us get back, shall we say. I would agree with Mr Barr as well that this can be a tough job at times. I commend all of you for putting yourselves forward. As Mr Barr said, we do not always agree but it does take

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