Page 5036 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 28 November 2018

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The past few months have been as tough as they have been rewarding, as emotionally draining as they have been character building.

I am proud of the work that I have done on the select committee inquiring into the legislation establishing the integrity commission, to play my part in getting the Assembly to where we are today, which is to debate the bill tomorrow.

I was very proud to chair the justice and community safety committee as we inquired into and reported on our consent laws; to continue the purview of the committee’s ongoing inquiry into domestic and family violence; and to kick off the inquiry into the very topical compulsory third-party insurance legislation.

I gained the experience of being on the estimates committee, a character-building experience if there ever was one. Being the target of an orchestrated and protracted attack campaign was never my intention, but it is a reality that I have been and am facing. Demands for retraction, a referral to the media, personal threats serious enough for a police investigation, thousands of robocalls, threats of legal proceedings and thousands of flyers letterboxed in my electorate of Kurrajong attacking my integrity, my intelligence and my honesty are, on a personal level, an extremely difficult and hurtful experience. As hard as it is to admit, I would be lying if I said that it was not taking its toll on my confidence, my mental wellbeing and my courage.

I want to live in a world where we are able to express our different views and where we can have robust discussions, debate and even arguments about serious issues, but at the end of the day we put those differences to one side for the benefit of those who need our support, our hardworking teachers. I am, and will always be, here for you, and I will never back away from calling out what I see as issues in education that need to be called out.

Madam Speaker, of course there are the thankyous. To all the staff of the Office of the Legislative Assembly, thank you for keeping us going in this place. To all the members in this chamber and their staff, and all my party room colleagues and their staff—and I know that big brother Steve is looking down on us fondly—it really is a pleasure working with you, and I look forward to our road to government in 2020.

I acknowledge Osiel, Young, Anna and all those who undertook work experience and internship in my office this year. I thank my team: Sue, Josh and Anton. They go above and beyond each and every day because they believe in what we do, in who we are, and in what we can achieve. I believe that the best for Team Elizabeth Lee is yet to come

I thank my ever-suffering family: my parents, John and Cecilia, who still travel down from Sydney each and every time I hold a barbecue for my volunteers; my sisters, Rosa and Sara, who always have my back; and my partner, Nathan. I cannot wait to see what this new chapter of our journey together will bring for us next year.

Finally, Madam Speaker, to the people of Kurrajong, thank you for your continued faith in me. It was, it is and it always will be about you.

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