Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 August 2017) . . Page.. 2213 ..
him not only as a colleague and a friend but also, through that obscure connection, as family.
Canberra has lost one of a kind. His humility, his no-nonsense attitude to life and his deep connection to his country and village will be very much missed. I finish with a reminder for all of us in this place, with a quick note taken from Val’s inaugural speech, delivered 12 months ago tomorrow in this place. Val said:
… an active, vibrant rural community like Tharwa does not ask for much but expects a bit of respect, which has been completely lacking since self-government. Surely it is time for an ACT government to take a deep breath, open its eyes, look a bit outside the concrete bunker in Civic and recognise that there is an important rural part to the ACT.
Hopefully some of the issues that Val was still passionately fighting on, particularly the Tharwa water supply, can now be looked at, perhaps as a memorial to the great work that Val has done down there. My deep sympathies go to his wife, Dorothy, who herself has been battling illness; to his son, Kevin; and to his remaining sister, Lena; as well as to the extended Jeffery family at this time. Val’s commitment to this territory will be very much missed by all the family and the very wide circle of friends that he managed to keep. Vale, Valentine Max Jeffery.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (10.24): Mr Val Jeffery OAM was born on 6 December 1934 in Queanbeyan and was a lifelong part of our city and our region. A true believer in the power of the individual to act, to make a difference, Val fought valiantly for what he knew to be right and for common sense in keeping our community and our environment safe. Val was a member here in the Assembly for a short time and, as has been said, perhaps one of the more reluctant members to take up a seat here. He was concerned that if he came up here the mail in Tharwa might not be properly delivered and that the people he knew were relying on him might be let down.
In Val’s maiden speech we heard about his passion for the ACT region, that he felt disappointed at some of the outcomes of self-government. He saw a growing lack of common sense and a bureaucratic approach being brought to decision-making for our region, which was alienating to him and to others with deep experience of the realities of our bush capital. He served for 60 years in his local RFS, 38 years as captain of the brigade, and I think many will miss his advice. I hope that in my work in sticking up for our volunteers as well as our full-time firefighters I will do him proud.
Val was a member of the Liberal Party since his younger years working farms and owning property around New South Wales. He joined the local division near home and was a part of our team. After his 4,000-plus votes that he won in the 2008 election as part of the Community Alliance Party, he was someone who our party decided we needed back on our ticket. Even though he was here for a very brief stint, he left us having been the oldest member of any parliament in Australia, having started his work here at the age of 81.
In the time I spent with him he was a great encouragement to me, especially at the time I had just taken up the emergency services portfolio. We all know how much fire