Page 4200 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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Thanks to all of you for your friendship. I am going to miss you all.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.27), by leave: Today is no doubt the end of an era in this place. We have just heard a very eloquent and dignified speech from Mr Doszpot outlining why he became involved in politics and what has motivated him in his time in this place as a member of many electorates, representing many diverse Canberra communities. Over the time that Mr Doszpot has been a member of this place we have been fellow members for Molonglo and fellow members for Kurrajong, but I have not quite had the same journey as Mr Doszpot in representing other parts of the city. This morning I would like to add my voice, and the government’s, in tribute to Mr Doszpot.

Steve’s story of moving from Hungary with his parents at the age of nine is indeed well known. From living in a refugee camp, his family was one of the lucky ones, making the move to a safer land at a time of significant upheaval in his home country. After completing his secondary education in Sydney, Mr Doszpot forged a career and a life here in Canberra.

Just like our city now in the 21st century, Canberra in the 1970s and 1980s was at the heart of the technological revolution. Mr Doszpot’s talents at the centre of a burgeoning IT sector, taking up senior roles with Wang Australia, Digital Equipment Corporation, CSIRO ICT Centre and later with Canon Australia, demonstrated not only his passion for the IT sector but his tremendous capacity in those roles.

Over perhaps seven of the last nine years Mr Doszpot and I held a joint passion for the sport portfolio. Mr Doszpot was a diligent shadow minister for sport, shadowing every element of my role as sports minister. We did not agree on everything, but I think one of the most significant and important bipartisan agreements in this place was a commitment to support the arrival of the Giants in Canberra. And that bipartisan commitment and the motion that was moved in this place and supported by the opposition I think was pivotal in ensuring the success of that new sporting team in Canberra.

Of course, AFL is not Mr Doszpot’s chosen sport, not necessarily his favourite, as we have heard. The other football, soccer, has brought him many memorable highlights and career opportunities and there is no doubt that Steve’s role as part of the Sydney Olympic Games Organising Committee, with responsibility for the Olympic infrastructure in Canberra and particularly the improvements to Canberra stadium, are a significant legacy for this city.

He helped showcase Canberra as a fantastic and welcoming place for world-class sport, and that is something that this government and, I am sure, future governments will continue to work on. But through sport and other organisations Mr Doszpot has been a champion of local participation, particularly using sport as a way for Canberrans to form long-lasting, standing bonds and relationships locally, nationally and internationally.

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