VALEDICTORIES

Ms CHAPMAN ( Bragg—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (18:23): May I, on indulgence, indicate from the opposition that on these occasions we wish to pay respect to and record our appreciation for those who serve South Australia by working very hard in this parliament. I think there are some 300 people who work directly to support the operation of the parliament and so on these occasions we want to particularly recognise them, and also those who, like us, come and go—we are able to recognise our colleagues and those who work with us.

I will commence by acknowledging the Speaker of the house, the member for Croydon. We do not often see eye to eye, but we recognise the work that he does as our Speaker, not just in parliament but obviously in receiving visiting personnel from other jurisdictions. It is quite an extensive role as Speaker and we appreciate his work in that regard. In the chamber, of course, I am usually the butt of his disciplinary approach on a number of matters, but we take that on the chin and appreciate that the Speaker is always right.

May I say that the Deputy Speaker, with her cheerful disposition in carrying out what is a very long and arduous task while the Speaker is off doing all those important duties, is frequently called upon not only to supervise the house but to guide us through committee work which, in recent times, took us into the early hours of the morning.

I could say that was aided and abetted by the repeated questioning of the Speaker when he was back in his place but, nevertheless, until 3.30am plus was a long stint and it is indicative of your commitment to the job that you would continue to keep us all calm and allow us to have consideration in that circumstance when the bill was obviously fraught with emotion. Congratulations on doing that. Thank you for lasting the distance with such good grace.

The members here in the chamber include, of course, our own Clerk, Mr Crump, and Deputy Clerk, Mr Pegram, who provide wise counsel to all of us, not just the Speaker, and we appreciate that. To the many chamber attendants and those who work here, who are certainly busy in their duties to provide for us promptly and with courtesy the reports and papers we call upon. Thank you so much for that work.

I also recognise, from the Legislative Council, the team who work there under the supervision of their longstanding Clerk, Jan Davis. We do, of course, have to work in a coordinated fashion on days such as this when we are waiting for legislation and trying to work cooperatively so that legislation is advanced in a timely manner. To all those who are working in that chamber, we thank them.

The Hansard team is led by Mr Phil Spencer. We thank you for converting what is often illegible and incoherent drivel into legitimate, concise and clear communication, and we do appreciate the work you do in that regard. Some do not understand that our Hansard reporters are some of the highest skilled in the state. Next to court reporters, they have an extraordinary job to do in deciphering interactive discussion in our parliament, and that is to be commended. Thank you for your high skill and attention.

I thank those who are in our library under the stewardship of Dr John Weste. I have the pleasure of being a member of our Friends of the Library, and I know the Deputy Speaker has worked hard this year to encourage the support of the parliament to enable us to sequester the leftover carpet from the renovations and to try to convert that into some funding for the restoration of our historic books. I thank her in that role as well.

I also thank Dr John Weste for working very hard to ensure that our extraordinary collection of antique and historical books, records and maps, some of which have only been discovered in the time we have been here. The restoration program has been immense. That is just a tiny part of what they do, of course, which is otherwise to service us as a research library. To all his team, I thank them for their work.

The catering manager, Creon Grantham, has again fed us and sustained us through long stints here. Sometimes that is called upon to be an expensive dish and other times it is to be sustenance. In the spectrum of provision of service, I wish to thank him and his team for the same.

The security personnel know that I am not happy that they still wear guns in the chamber, but I want to thank them for their cheerful greeting smiles when we arrive here early in the morning, and I usually come through an entrance they service. I appreciate their work, as I am sure all members do, providing security for us, our staff and personnel here in the parliament while we are in the chambers and also ensuring that they protect each other from those who might come into the premises with ill will. So they do have an important role to play. The cleaning staff are also here early in the morning, sometimes just packing up as we are arriving. The cheerful goodwill with which they undertake their work is terrific.

I would like to give special mention this year to our parliamentary counsel. They have to draft all our legislation and convert our sometimes esoteric ideas into sensible legislation to be promoted. They do a terrific job. PNSG is an external agent from government, or Treasury. It is associated with us here at the parliament, and they keep our electronic and IT equipment up to speed and help me, whenever an app disappears, to reinstate it. Lorraine Tonglee and her team provide an excellent service. So there are many people who make up the parliament, to ensure that the people of South Australia are served.

I am very proud that the South Australian parliament is a registered Supportive Employer of the Defence Reservists in South Australia. I see many of the personnel who work here in the parliament in a different life, as I am sure other members do also, and they contribute to public and civic responsibility up there with most. That is commendable, but some of the employees here are reservists, and they serve our state and country in different ways. I think it is terrific that the parliament itself, as a very significant employer, is registered as a supportive employer. It is indicative of its support for our personnel but also indicative to the world that we are interested in supporting those who serve us, sometimes in very dangerous circumstances.

In addition to those who work in the parliament directly, I wish to place on the record my appreciation to our colleagues, in particular the member for Dunstan, the Leader of the Opposition, who has led us as a team in the principal opposition. He has a very impressive group of staff, led by James Stevens, who irritates me from time to time but who does a great job. I think it is very important that those who are in leadership positions amongst our staff have to make hard decisions on behalf of the leader and, in our case, of course, in many ways to service our shadow cabinet, but who with me shares a considerable role in ensuring that our broader colleagues and their staff are supported and properly looked after.

I would like to give Paul Armanas, who heads our media unit, a special tick this year. He has the unenviable job of making us all look good and keeping up communication with the media, and we appreciate that. We welcome back Richard Yeeles, who has been a long serving employee in political life, having supported prior premiers. He has had significant years of experience in the private sector and has resumed work with our team this year. We welcome him back.

To our whips, thank you very much. That is a completely thankless task, so I recognise both government and opposition whips and the work they provide. Finally, I would like to say that everyone of us here in the parliament who is an elected member—and, as I said, we come and go—has our own staff who help to keep us calm and focused, and who support us to deliver what we are here for, and that is to serve the people of South Australia. Thank you to all those who do that.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and trust you have a safe and happy time with your families. I look forward to seeing you next year.