Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Thursday 21 June 2012



Debates Day 1 - Thursday 21 June 2012

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Parliamentary Record 27


Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES- Thursday 21 June 2012 agree it is a massive learning curve when you come into this business. It does not matter how long you have been in it on the outside, when you are on the inside it is a massive learning curve. That door closed on the police department and this one opened. My understanding is when this one closes, you have a broad range of experience across so many different areas you will probably make twice as much money as the rest of us because you are, as the member for Nelson said, a very good bloke. One thing people cannot take away from you is that you are a good bloke. You are dedicated, a good mate, and if anyone needs a hand you are always there. For that, I thank you because we have had some great conversations over the last four years. For your friendship and what you have been able to assist me with, thank you very much. I would also like to talk about the member for Arafura, Marion Scrymgour. When you come into this House, Madam Deputy Speaker, as you know and everyone has discovered, it is not quite what you expect. Some things you expect and it is totally different, and some things you do not expect and they hit you fair and square in the face. It is an interesting journey. I remember when I first came into the House, you sit on this side and look across to other side - I recall in a book - although I cannot remember the name of it - about an uncle sitting in parliament and his nephew had just been elected. He came in and his nephew said to him, Well, uncle, there is the enemy across the other side there, and he said, No, son, they are the opposition; the enemy is sitting behind you. That is a very interesting analogy, but it is a good joke. The people on the other side are not necessarily the enemy, although they are our opposition. Although we do not always agree philosophically, I did find as you travel through the journey of a session of the parliament of the Northern Territory, you get to know some of the people who sit opposite you. I have come to respect quite a number of the people who sit opposite me, even though we have different philosophical beliefs and policies. You have to admire and give credit where it is due to some of the people over there. Member for Arafura, one of the greatest things which cemented my respect for you was the time I spent with you on the youth suicide select committee, where I saw your depth of passion for youth. I share that passion and am so grateful I had the opportunity to sit on that committee with you. You realise where people come from, and they are very strong in their convictions; that we can both be on the same page and, hopefully, achieve results in that area. When you leave this House, whatever you do - I refer to the conversation we had during Estimates - I sincerely hope you pursue the issue of youth suicide and work in the community. As the member for Port Darwin said, whatever happens, opposition or government, my door is always open and I will assist you in any way, shape. or form to pursue that issue. Thank you very much and good luck to you and your family for the rest of your life. To Madam Speaker, as a former neighbour - I do not know whether people know that Jane and I were neighbours in Nightcliff. It was good to have some quiet neighbours who did not party all night, although you had a few good social functions and I loved your coloured lights in the back yard. At least those parties did not go on forever. There are many things I would like to thank you for. One is your efforts to remain impartial and to govern this place in a fair and equitable way. I give you credit because I imagine trying to referee this place is very difficult and challenging. You have done a very good job and you have done it with integrity and finesse. Thank you for your efforts in trying to keep us all in line. I saved this one for last because, when I first came into this House, the member for Johnston, as I look over - I do not know about analogies, I do not know whether I want to use the word old, but war dog is something that comes to mind. I hope I do not offend the member for Johnston if I say old war dog. When I first came in here - as I said, there are things that smack you right in the face. It is interesting because the member for Johnston is very good at debating and putting an argument. I have respect for your ability to run an argument, member for Johnston. Irrespective of whether I agree with you, I respect your ability, tenacity and commitment, not only to this place, but to your party. I inherited a very well-looked-after portion of Wagaman in the redistribution. I am doorknocking that area at the moment, and all of the people I speak to know who Chris Burns is. They all say Chris Burns is a nice bloke and he does a good job. That is testament to the type of person you are, irrespective of the side of politics you are on. You work hard, you have looked after people, and you have done a fine job. I thank all the retiring members. Thank you for the opportunity to share four years with you; it has been fabulous. I will say a few thank yous, given this is the last opportunity I have in this session of parliament. I thank my electorate officer, Dee Davies, for her fabulous work and ongoing support. I thank my branch and its members, in particular Ronnie Baker and John Moyle. Last, but not least, I thank my wife - I can say that now, as we married on 25 May. 3252

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