Page 5188 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (6.53): I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what has been an eventful 2017. This is the first year of my second term in this place, and I am so grateful to the people of Murrumbidgee for choosing me again to represent them. Over this year I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of new people. I have met Natalia from Pearce, so proactive and full of energy that she recently organised a petition we will see later in the week and will be able to have a good look at calling for improvements at Torrens playground at. I have got to know Rochelle, Thea, Bethany, Caitlin and Jess, young women who have taken a keen interest in politics, policy, and leadership. It is great to know and to assist these young women where I can. They will no doubt be amongst our future leaders.

It was great to reconnect with Peterson, a lovely fellow who volunteered on my 2012 campaign. Peterson is the expert when it comes to all things HR, employees and payrolls, and his advice has been wonderful. To Mark, Ben, Rochelle, Leanne and other local Liberal Party members in my electorate, it has been my pleasure to work with you in the establishment of our local branch. I look forward to many more years of working closely together.

This year has also given me new opportunities and experiences. Working as the shadow minister for corrections, emergency services, and police I have had a really engaging time studying these portfolio areas, delving into the many different policies and identifying areas that need further attention. I guess one of the downsides is that there is just so much in these areas that we need to work on. I will continue to advocate for better solutions in these spaces.

I am also pleased to still be shadow minister for women. I have long been an advocate for women and, in particular, mothers. It is great to see some improvements in this place. After much lobbying, the Chief Minister has audited breastfeeding rooms across ACT government directorate buildings and identified rooms requiring a lock to be installed.

We have also had some agreement on a much greater deployment of portaloos for the firies. I know that has made some of the gentlemen in the force upset because they are good gentlemen and they do not like talking about these things.

I thank the Minister for Women for the constructive and genuine good-willed approach taken by her and her office in dealing with me on these matters. I also thank Minister Rattenbury and Minister Gentleman—and Frances in Minister Gentleman’s office in particular—for facilitating visits for the JACS committee to many of the facilities under their portfolios.

I thank the attendants, the OLA staff and opposition staffers who work tirelessly in their respective fields. Special mention must go to Dr Andrea Cullen and Ms Anne Shannon, who work so hard and professionally in their support of me in the committees that I chair, Thank you. I also thank fellow committee members: Minister Rattenbury when he sat in capacity as chair on the temporary ICAC select

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