Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I want to say how happy I was to hear the Premier stand up on the adjournment and acknowledge the incredible contribution and dedication of Pat Blood to this parliament. Over the past 40 years, what history Mrs Blood has seen being made.
One of these things which really was a saga during Pat's time as supervisor in Hansard was the debate into the wee hours of the morning on the Tasmanian Forest Agreement, as did the pulp mill debate before we had something like sensible sitting hours.
Some of the things I have always admired about Pat in the 12 years I have been here are her kindness, her humility and her sharp brain. She is very hardworking, highly respected, efficient and obviously endlessly patient, because she spent 40 years of her life coming into the seat of democracy here in Parliament House and dedicated herself to interpreting what lawmakers in this place say and making us, more often than not, sound more erudite and coherent than we actually are. That is the mastery of a good Hansard writer, editor and supervisor.
We asked Peter Hancox for a bit of background on Pat, and I remind the House that when the Parliamentary Service Awards ceremony was held last year Pat Blood was recognised for her outstanding service to the parliament. The information Peter Hancox has provided us is that Pat started as a casual transcriber in Hansard in 1979 or 1980. She began assisting Peter Hancox in 1996 as he built the IT department that underpins our functionality here. She was appointed permanent full-time clerical officer for Hansard and IT support service for Computer Services on non-sitting days. Peter says that Pat had an enormous learning curve for IT and picked up computer support very easily. Peter used to send her out to fix a problem and nine times out of 10 the issue was resolved without a follow-up call to Peter.
On 29 November 2000 Pat was appointed supervisor of the Hansard typing room and on 2 September 2005, supervisor of typists and office manager. In 2005, in a note to then Clerk Peter Alcock, Jenny Batchelor said:
Mrs Blood is an excellent office manager cum supervisor. Her extensive knowledge of IT, her familiarity of the day-to-day workings of the Hansard operation and her highly developed interpersonal skills make her an outstanding employee in both her demanding roles. I do believe that she is more than qualified to Level 6, and that her diligence and competence are deserving of recognition.
Hear, hear, Madam Speaker.
In April 2009 Pat was promoted to supervisor/office manager of Hansard and until Pat retired, I gather that Pete used to go to her for a bit of advice on IT and Mrs Blood used to continue to undertake IT support for Hansard and others when asked. As Peter rightly observes, Pat is well respected by all the staff at parliament, as she has always been very helpful. Indeed, Madam Speaker, over the 40 years in this place and the contribution that she made, Pat earned the respect of everyone who came into contact with her. Pat Blood is much loved in this place and I know that in Hansard her departure brought heavy hearts.
One of the points that the Premier, in his long list of historic achievements that Pat was here for, did not get in there was that Pat was here when this parliament reached gender balance, when we got the numbers right finally, Madam Speaker. That was a great achievement for this parliament and also the voters of Tasmania.
I wish Pat Blood a fantastic retirement. Someone that sparky and with so much to give I do not think is going to have a terribly quiet retirement, but I hope we see Pat Blood in here from time to time. In the Greens we miss her, and I wanted to say to the people of Hansard who have worked with Pat, we feel your pain, but you do have the lovely James Reynolds there now, who has taken over from Pat.
So Pat Blood, thank you for all your service and your kindness, thanks for making us sound good, and have a fantastic retirement.