Page 4207 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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grateful for Steve’s work in that area. The other one was the boy in the cage incident and the subsequent Shaddock review. I know many families with children who go to that particular school. It was a really important issue. I would like to thank Steve for his efforts in that particular area.

I have always found Steve to be an absolute gentleman. I think that many people in this chamber have mistaken his passion for the issues and seen him perhaps as aggressive at times. But I think it very much demonstrates how deeply he feels about these issues and how willing he is to represent his constituents in the strongest possible way. That is a real plus and something that we can all take from his approach.

I especially appreciated his passion for education, sport and disability and, of course, those fabulous fundraising trivia nights which have raised so much money for important organisations in our community. When I first started in the Assembly, Steve invited me along to a whole lot of events with him. He was very inclusive, supportive and friendly. It got to the point at one stage where there were so many photos of us together that we started to joke that our respective spouses might get a bit jealous and think something was going on. Whilst we still kept going to a few events, we took fewer photos.

I have always found Steve to be generous, inclusive, supportive, compassionate and dignified. Steve, Maureen and your family, go well. Go well, Steve, and thank you for your service.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (10.56), by leave: In the cut and thrust of politics, seldom do we get to choose the time of our departure. Steve has done that but obviously not on the terms that he would have chosen had he been given the opportunity. I first joined the Liberal Party in 2008. That was shortly before Steve’s election as the local member in Brindabella in 2008. In the preceding years I was chair of the southern electorate branch of the Canberra Liberals. I fielded at branch meetings quite an immense frustration from party members that Steve often did not turn up. It was not, I must confess, until I got here that I actually developed an understanding of and an appreciation for the work that Steve genuinely did.

The reason we very seldom saw him at party meetings was that he was so busy representing his electorate and, more importantly, the multicultural portfolio which he held during the Seventh Assembly. Night after night he was not at home on the couch like he often was accused of, but he was instead out at community events, away from his family, doing the work that the community ultimately expects their politicians to do.

As has been touched on, whilst I was chair of the electorate branch, Steve’s move and swap with Zed Seselja, the Leader of the Opposition at the time, took place. It was a secret campaign move that was codenamed “silver ugg boot”. Those that Zed and Steve knew well enough will be able to decipher how the codename came about, but I think it is safe after seven years to let the cat out of the bag. I can now reveal the secret of silver ugg boot.

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