I am pleased to reflect on the past year this evening in the chamber, a year which has changed my life in many ways. It was an honour to join the Assembly following Katy Gallagher’s move to the Senate, and I thank her for her dedication to her city and her continued effort to make Canberra a better place.
I have loved representing Molonglo, particularly my local area of Gungahlin. There is such a diverse range of people, businesses and community groups who love our city and want the best for it. It is an honour to work with them and represent them in this place. I thank everyone who has contacted me and given me all manner of feedback, mostly great, some less so, but all received, considered and replied to.
Thank you to the nearly 2,000 people who have filled in my petition and survey this year. I would like to thank in particular a few local organisations and businesses whom I have had the pleasure of working with closely over the year. A special mention goes to members of the Gungahlin Community Council, particularly Ewan Brown, Peter Elford and Tony Ozanne, and a special mention also to James Milligan for his terrific work in producing Gunsmoke. Thanks also to the wonderful staff at Communities@Work for the opportunity to work with them in so many ways this year, especially Lynne Harwood, Chris Barry and Nishi Puri.
To Mark Scarborough of My Gungahlin, I say that it is always a pleasure, and we share a real passion for our local community. To David Pollard from Crace Community Association, Prescott Pym from Forde Community Association, and Jason Cummings and Kate Grarock from the woodlands and wetlands trust, what you do on our back doorstep in Gungahlin is great. To the Anthoney and Wills families, it has been a real highlight to meet and work with you this year.
I would like to thank my family for their support and love as I have made the move to the Assembly. I never thought I would have to have diary meetings with my own husband, but there you have it. I could not do this without them.
Thank you to Tom Duncan and all the wonderful staff and attendants here at the Assembly. You do a remarkable job keeping us going, and I hope you will all have a relaxing break. I know next year will be a busy one for you, but thank you for settling me in this year.
Thank you to my staff. James has now moved on to a new career but he did a wonderful job in those early days when I was finding my feet. I know he has a bright future ahead. To Terry, who has recently joined, thank you for bringing your considerable IT skills and enthusiasm to the office. To Charlotte, a bright star whose dedication to Labor and willingness to do anything that is required around the office make her invaluable. And she does some great baking. To Claire, who keeps me real and reminds me of what is important, not urgent, for her terrific skills and her growing love of Gungahlin roads—so great, in fact, that she is moving there. And to Monique, who has brought campaign experience and policy expertise to my office and who ensures we work as a team. Her dedication to Labor over many years is remarkable and I am lucky to have her. I know she has not had the easiest of years but I wish her all the very best for 2016.
I would also like to thank all of my Labor colleagues for warmly welcoming me into this place, guiding me and giving me opportunities. A special note goes to Simon Corbell and Mary Porter, whose advice I have valued so greatly. I know the Assembly, and indeed our whole city, is a better place because of you both and I wish you all the best for the next stage after next year’s election.
Thank you to the many friends who have supported me, to those crack volunteers— particularly people like Gerry Lloyd and the remarkable young members of our Labor Party whom we could not work without. And to Kurt Steel, who is still in our hearts every day.
During the past year I have learnt so much about our city, its workings and the people in it. For me, growth, opportunity and fairness must be at the centre of everything we do. When I look at Labor’s track record it is clear these values are central. They are evident in policies like light rail, urban renewal, public housing renewal, tax reform, transport reform and our renewable energy targets. We are building a new hospital, delivering better health services, improving our students’ educational outcomes, making our roads safer and growing our economy. These policies help everyone and they will change our city for the better. To all of my colleagues in this place: go well, have grace and have a merry Christmas.