Page 5195 - Week 13 - Thursday, 29 November 2018

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There have been ups and downs for me this year. There is a bit of stuff written here about policy stuff, but I cannot really be bothered at this stage.

In farewelling 2018 in this chamber, I need to say a big thank you to my erstwhile staff, Rob Lovett and Bradley Clarke, who are genuine mates of mine and fabulous team members. They have contributed to a top-notch office environment. Thanks, guys, for everything you do. I must say thanks to my family, to Luisa and the kids, and the doggos, for putting up with the time that this place and my electorate suck out of me. I am sorry, and I will make it up one day.

I would like to express thanks to the staff of the committees that I have served on, EDT and PUR. I also thank the Clerk and his staff for their patience and persistence in making sure that my office stays on track, or part thereof.

I could not have functioned without the help and support of the chamber support staff, the Hansard team, the Library team, the business support team, including finance, HR and IT Services, and our marvellous attendants. Thank you, team.

I would also like to express my appreciation to government ministers and their staff for assistance and briefings when they were required. I must acknowledge the support of our leader, Alistair Coe, my team of MLA colleagues and all of their staff for working as a close-knit organisation, often in difficult circumstances. Our synergy is priceless. I know you blokes reckon all sorts of things but, whatever. Our synergy is priceless. I look forward to a productive year in 2019.

I would not be here if it were not for the trust and confidence placed in me by the people of Tuggeranong, and I will be working hard to serve them in 2019 and beyond.

In closing, I would like to leave with almost a Christmas wish, Madam Speaker, or at least a thought. I know that we have a somewhat robust chamber from time to time. I know that we toss barbs across this room, that we call each other names and genuinely engage in animated discussion that often is not nice to those who sit opposite us, whichever side we sit on. All I ask is that, as we move forward, we always consider that our political opponents are human. What we do in this chamber is adversarial and it is often combative, but it does not have to be personal.

I am not putting myself forward as a saint in this space, because I have said some diabolical things about a number of members opposite. On occasions I have even apologised to some members opposite because I felt that perhaps my words were a little too harsh. I know that this is a battle of ideas and that we are trying to win more seats than you guys at the next poll, and vice versa. But let us always remember that despite our differences I think we are all pretty good people, and we should give each other the respect that we deserve.

Along those lines, I would like to thank ACT Labor and the whip in particular, Tara, for allowing me the indulgence of the “family reasons 5 pm Wednesday” pair for the past two years. I will certainly not go into details of why, where and who; suffice to

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