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Christmas Message


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 29 November 2018

Tags: Birth Certificates

Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, this is the time of year when we share the love around and say thank you to everyone who works for and on behalf of democracy in Tasmania.

Before I say that, however, I just cannot stand here and not express my dismay for transgender and intersex Tasmanians and their families that we are knocking off at 6 o'clock when before the Legislative Council there is legislation that would transform the lives of some of most marginalised, discriminated-against fellow Tasmanians and our children. Mr Deputy Speaker, I do not know what has happened but it is shameful. It is a subversion of the will of the House.

Opposition and Greens members - Hear, hear.

Ms O'CONNOR - The will of the House was that that legislation was passed amended and went upstairs, and here we are knocking off at 6 o'clock on a night. On this side of the House we would have sat here till this time next week to deal with that legislation.

Mr Deputy Speaker, on behalf of Dr Woodruff and me, I want to pass on our enormous gratitude and thanks to everyone who works to uphold democracy in this place.

Shane Donnelly, Clerk of the House, thank you so much for your sage, independent advice and your tolerance of us. We really appreciate you and thank you very much. Laura Ross, your trusty offsider, is calm, kind, thoughtful and very helpful; Stephanie Hesford, SergeantatArms, looks nothing like the 7-foot-4 SergeantatArms who serves the UK parliament, but we know that you are feisty and a very powerful character; Todd Butsworth, Clerk Assistant; and Barry Roberts, who is almost as old as this building, an institution, much loved Clerk of Papers, and getting on a plane to take a well-earned break next week.

Thanks to Scott Hennessy, parliamentary officer; Charles Casimaty, parliamentary officer; James Reynolds, parliamentary assistant; Kathy Stephens, Clerk's assistant; Colleen Donovan, Office of the Clerk; Kristy Lang, parliamentary attendant; and Ali Morrison, parliamentary attendant. These are the faces of people we see every day. It gives me strength and is a source of great comfort to talk to the people who work in this place and stand alongside them in the interests of democracy. I am really stoked to work with all these people.

Adrian Munnings, who I think of very fondly once a fortnight, thank you. The education officers have transformed young people's understanding of civics and the workings of democracy, Kimbra McCormack and Aurelie Charenton. In the Parliamentary Library working quietly away are Deb Jensen, Helen Richardson, Jenny Wray, Luke Vieceli, Sarah Ravanat, Sue Knowler and Marijana Bacic. I also thank the Parliamentary Research Service and Bryan Stait, who I found out in the canteen today actually has a PhD in Geology, so he is quite used to dealing with fossils, Mr Deputy Speaker. There is also Cassandra Hennessy, Catriona Ross, Jane McPherson, and Kira Aldridge. Thanks to Jade in the bistro.

In Computer Services and Broadcasting, IT, the quiet machine that holds all this together, thank you Peter Hancox, Brett Godfrey, Chris Machin, Ben Hughes, James Sly, Jason Hergert and Adon Voss, who is currently away on leave, although I saw him in the building yesterday, Kate Duggan and Angus, who is temping in there. Extension 2222 is a number that is burned into my brain. I often make that call and the quick help from IT who always get it right is hugely appreciated by Dr Woodruff, me and our team

Thanks to the Hansard staff, our interpreters - Helen Allmich, Helene Attrill, Pat Blood; monitor, Roey Johnson; transcribers, Margot Scales, Carol Millhouse, Jo Bull, Karen Cuzzucoli, Kaye Toohey, Julie Velde, Margaret Peters, and Wendy Nicholas. Thanks also to the subeditors who interpret what the interpreters put out - Sabine Borgis, Michael Dubois, Shae Huddlestone, Helen Moore, Jenny Morgan, Andrew Smithies, my beautiful friend Kate Stewart, Loretta Thompson and Christine Ward.

In the dining room and bistro, Mandie is an island of calm at the end of the day with bubbles in her hand, quite often very much appreciated, and Jacqui Kozakiewicz, Jo Smallhorn, Jade, Renee, Christine and Sarah who work in the canteen - thank you.

Thanks to our Legislature-General staff, Jason Hendy, Anna McCarthy, Mandy Menzie, Brendon Boon, the fixer of the building, Shane Watterson, Gay Bachelor, Denise, Carol and Louis, who after 30 years is retiring. We love Louis. In security, those who keep us safe in a gentle and yet a firm way, thanks Ian, Alf, Nicole, Hannah, Sayid, Kyriakis, Pete, Nathan and David.

To my little Greens team, Dr Woodruff who is my rock, my inspiration, my friend in this place. Thanks you so much and it is a privilege to sit with you, Rosalie. To our senior adviser, the amazing Alice Giblin, love you Alice, love you Tom, love you Andrew, Jo and Will, and thank you for everything you do.

In closing, I thank everyone in this place. We are a diverse and somewhat munted family. We have to put up with each other for the best part of four years, and most days we do. Most days, I would argue, we are all I here to try to do the right thing. Please take care, everyone, over the summer break. Have peace, laughter and relaxation and time with your children, which is what motivates many of us to be in here.

To members of Government, I hope you have a relaxing, calming break and reflect on how much better you could be for next year.

Finally, Mr Deputy Speaker, I thank you who sits in the chair and presides over us from time to time, but also Madam Speaker, Sue Hickey, who I know has caused major upheaval simply by being primarily an independent Speaker, but we have seen that in legislation come through this House and more cooperative politics as a result of Sue being in the Chair. I believe it has improved the functionality of this place but being a member of a minor party, I would say that because we are finally given a voice.

Madam Speaker, please look after yourself over the summer break and thank you so much for all the work that you have done for the families of the people who are sitting here in the Chamber tonight with broken hearts because we have not dealt with the amendments to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act.