Page 324 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 December 2016

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I too want to extend my thanks to the staff of Elections ACT and also the casual staff of Elections ACT who participated in the election. You did a wonderful job. I thank all the volunteers and citizens of Canberra that contributed. I also want to extend my thanks to the media for the role that they play. It is a very important role. There is an interesting relationship between political parties and politicians and the media, but I think there is a general acceptance that we both need each other; so there has to be some kind of co-existence.

I say to all the Canberrans who voted for the Liberals: we do not take your support for granted. There were 89,000 people who wanted us to be a government and we did not quite get there. But we will return the confidence that they gave us over the coming years.

On a personal note, I want to extend my love and thanks to my wife, Yasmin, and kids, Angus and Annabel. Over the previous term I gained a wife, two kids and a dog. I am not sure I am going to gain the same in this Ninth Assembly; I am sure we have considerable growth coming but perhaps not in numbers.

Again I would like to thank the Canberra community for giving us this wonderful privilege of serving in this place, and I wish everyone a merry Christmas.


MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (5.59): It does seem to be a little strange to be doing end-of-year speeches so soon after having our first sitting of this new term, and also having given end-of-Assembly speeches only 10 weeks ago. But with everyone else here, I imagine, I am certainly looking forward to the Christmas break this year. As I am sure most of us here today will agree, it certainly feels like it has been a long year, especially for politicians in the territory, with a federal election that we locals invariably helped out on; then, of course, we had our own election; and, of course, there was the American election, which we got saturation coverage of, and it has significant implications for us at so many levels.

There has been some commentary in recent months and a widespread belief that we have entered a period of post-truth politics, where debates are framed by partisan hyperbole that serves no-one, and facts are left behind. This has been identified as a key element in both Brexit and the electoral success of Donald Trump. Post-truth politics is the opposite of evidence-based policy. I end the year hopeful that this Assembly will resist such a slide into populism. I think that generally in this place we do a lot better. We have a lot of expertise that informs us, and I think the standard of debate generally is a whole lot higher. I welcome that, and I hope it lasts for a long time in this place. I think our community who, on the whole, are a very well informed and politically astute community, expect that from us, and we should try to live up to those expectations.

While all members of the Assembly, staff and OLA are looking forward to a well-earned rest over the Christmas break, and there will be a lot of festivities, I would like to take this moment to make a serious observation and ask that we spare a

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