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Nicola Roxon Mp Valedictory

Nicola Roxon Mp Valedictory

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Published by jamesmassola
Nicola Roxon Mp Valedictory
Nicola Roxon Mp Valedictory

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Published by: jamesmassola on Jun 19, 2013
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 Tuesday 18 June 2013 
I intend to start, rather than finish, my valedictory with my personalthanks as they are easy to miss in a rush at the end – yet all thatwe as politicians can achieve for the community fundamentallyrelies on a lot of other people too: families, friends and staff. Theyhelp us, support us, soothe us and share our triumphs. I’ve been incredibly blessed on all these fronts – an amazingmother, wonderful sisters, the best staff imaginable and plenty of friends, in and out of politics, to keep me sane. And most of all, my gorgeous, reliable, funny husband Michael. Together Michael and Mum helped me manage a busy life as asenior cabinet Minister with a young child, the first woman tocombine such roles.Without Mum travelling with me in that first year while I wasbreastfeeding, I’m not sure I would’ve managed. And without Michael then and ever since, I certainly wouldn’thave.Deb and Tiffiny have also helped make Rebecca the happy,confident, loving, bright little spark that she is. Mum is responsible for a number of funny moments in my politicallife, my favourite being when in 2007, Mum marched up to Kevin,as the newly minted PM, on the very day of our swearing in at
Government House demanding he promise to give me some timeoff to get married that term, or she feared it would never happen. Unusually for Kevin, he was stuck for words! In 15 years in Canberra I’ve also been lucky to have good friendsto flat with – for many years with Adrienne and then for the lastfour years with Lisa, Michael and their 3 children. Warmcompany, non-political discussion and chocolate was a neededbalm on many occasions after a day in this place. And I thankthem. Weirdly, I also need to thank Tony Abbott. I want to thank him for providing the material for some of the most memorable momentsin my political career.-
Standing me up, and then swearing at me, at the press club inthe 2007 election campaign – although it was awkward for me atthe time, it cost him and the Liberal party much more-
For producing those silly golf balls, that made for an irresistiblegag in parliament: and-
For continuing to take donations from tobacco companies,allowing me to coin the phrase “Kick the Habit, Mr Abbott” More seriously, thank you to the ALP members in Gellibrand andthe electors of Gellibrand – allowing me the honour to representthem five times. From Western Health, ethnic community leaders,the Bulldogs or the Maidstone Community House or the localcouncils, I’ve loved working with the community and hope I’ve livedup to your expectations. There has been more staff than I can thank here, for their friendship and for their hard work - suffice to say that any of mysuccesses were yours too. I’m glad some of them are here todayand look forward to the big cook up I’m doing for them soon. Getting and keeping good staff is one of the best compliments aMinister can get, and one of the wisest investments to make inpolitical life. I do want to particularly thank my longest serving staff member Narelle for her professionalism and friendship and Angela
for brains and her leadership over so many years. And wish Chrisand Connie all the best for their upcoming wedding.For colleagues, it is an exercise of love and loyalty to work for thisgreat Labor cause we believe in. But to do it together, makes iteven more satisfying. Thanks to my friends here – especially myVictorian colleagues, the class of ’98 and my ministerial friends.Thanks especially to Mark, Justine, Warren and Catherine for thework as the health team during the busy health reform days. Which bring me to a special thank you, to the Prime Minister, JuliaGillard.
She’s an amazing PM and an great Labor leader andan impressive woman. And a good friend to me. We shouldbe proud of her and her work, but more of that later.
 Thanks also to the staff of the Parliament and to the twosecretaries and staff of the departments of health and AG’s.People love to send up bureaucrats, especially Canberrabureaucrats, but I found you and your teams highly capable, veryprofessional and hard working. Thank you.I fear those opposite, in wanting to tap into this common prejudiceagainst public servants, will slash many staff withoutunderstanding the scope of work that you do. The PBS can’t listnew drugs for sick Australians if bureaucrats don’t work throughthe process of approval, emergency hotlines can’t be staffed if theimportance of having a person at the end of the line is notrecognised, whether it is for flood assistance or a GP after hoursservice. Already we know we stand to lose more than 40 frontlinehealth workers locally– psychologists, mental health nurses andpharmacists - if the Liberals are elected and abolish MedicareLocals as they have committed to doing.Of course, I couldn’t stand up today, in this place, in this line of work and not acknowledge that it
does feel I am giving thisspeech at a hard time for Labor. 
Even for true Labor believers there are times when it can feelfrustrating, or hard work, to come out to support a cause we allbelieve in deeply, for a party we all love deeply.

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