Page 95 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 December 2016

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I also want to mention former Deputy Chief Minister Simon Corbell, who I have notionally replaced in this chamber on his retirement at the election. Simon for so many years has been a giant of this place. As a new member in the Assembly, I feel the absolute responsibility of carrying on his leadership and legacy in relation to climate change and the environment. We must take responsible steps to manage climate change and the environment. Labor has led the nation in our approach to delivering 100 per cent renewable energy, and I look forward to continuing Simon’s work and Labor’s progressive approach on this profoundly important issue.

People here know that running for election is not an easy task. It is a long and tiring pursuit, and it cannot be done without the support of friends and family. It is now over two years ago that I took a run around Lake Burley Griffin with my brother Kurt—the famous bridge to bridge run. We slowed down as we reached the end at Federation Mall, talking about the upcoming preselection. I knew that in this seat of Murrumbidgee there were potentially over 10 people running for preselection, including Mr Corbell. It looked like an impossible task, and I was sceptical of my chances.

In his matter-of-fact way, Kurt looked at me seriously and said, “No, you go for it and you’ll win.” It was the last time I saw Kurt before he left for South America, never to come back. But his determined advice was there throughout the next two years, at every hurdle, at every door. It was perhaps the best gift of advice that I could have been given, and, coming from Kurt, you knew it had authority. Today he is no doubt having a drink at the upstairs bar with my grandfather, Ted, with some satisfaction.

While Kurt was perhaps my first campaign manager, I could not have hoped to have had a better campaign team with me after him. Almost every weekend since January my campaign team doorknocked and called, doorknocked and called. They engaged with the community with me, genuinely and thoughtfully, and brought an enthusiasm that was unmatched by any campaign team.

I would like to thank my campaign manager, James Koval, and my core team: Tom McKernan, Monique Blasiak, Ethan Moody, Daniel Langton, Joshua Evans, Rosie McCrossin, Jacques Coia, Lorenzo McMiken, Desmond Ko, Aimee Kable, Jody Law, Bryce Logan, Daniel Hughes, my sister Yasmin Steel and my parents, Jayne Steel and Philip Steel.

I would also like to thank Peter Wagner, Lois and Sandi Logan, Ben Maxfield, Tim Watts, Vicky Darling, Sean Hill, Jen Light, Gai Brodtmann MP, the Hon Kate Ellis MP, Labor Secretary, Matt Byrne, Megan Lane and all other campaign volunteers, the centre coalition and branch members.

My last but most heartfelt thanks goes to my partner, Kurtis Oborne, who did not choose this life but who has been supportive throughout and has fed an army in the process.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all new and returning members of this place, and particularly the Labor caucus. I am looking forward to getting to work with you on delivering Labor’s vision for our city. Thank you.

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