Senate debates

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Statements

Valedictories

7:40 pm

Photo of Richard Di NataleRichard Di Natale (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—Firstly, let me again acknowledge the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Brandis, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Wong. I know we had a discussion about the pronunciation of my name, so we'll take it one step at a time.

Senator Whish-Wilson interjecting—

Thank you for that, Senator Whish-Wilson—I did know Senator Whish-Wilson had planned that by the way—but it's actually 'Di Na-ta-leh'. It is actually somewhere in between—I'm messing with you now.

Honourable senators interjecting—

I suppose I was taking you through it stepwise, so I took you a little closer to the correct pronunciation. The actual pronunciation is 'Di Na-ta-leh', but I will let you get away with 'Di Na-ta-lee'. The anglicised version is okay.

Mr President, I want to thank you for the important work that you've done in a relatively short period of time. I think your job is a bit like a football umpire: the best ones go unnoticed. You, so far, have gone relatively unnoticed, intervening when you need to. It's a tough gig, a very tough gig, and we make your life pretty difficult. I know Senator Hinch is constantly reminding us of our behaviour—and I think you're right to do that, Senator Hinch.

Senator Hinch interjecting—

We do occasionally make life hard for Senator Hinch, and we'll try to lift our game next year.

Let me thank all of the Senate staff—Richard Pye and all of the team: you do a remarkable job. You've had very big shoes to fill, Richard, and you've done it nobly. You're carrying on a very fine tradition. So thank you for all of your hard work: it's very much valued.

And of course all the Senate staff, the attendants and so on—we often rush through the doors with the occasional nod and hello, but we thank you so much for all of the work you do. It's thankless. I know you're in here before us and you'll be out of here long after we leave. Thanks for keeping our desks tidy, our glasses full, the doors open and a smile on your faces. So thank you for all the work that you all do.

Let me thank the Comcar drivers, the security staff, the cleaners and DPS for all of the services that you provide. I won't go on, but we share your concern, Senator Wong. When you're here bright and early and you know that people have been here overnight working hard, we do hope that their work is valued.

I want to thank my team and my colleagues. It's been a bloody tough year, a really tough year. We had some big changes. We lost Scott and Larissa. They were really outstanding parliamentarians and, more importantly, just wonderful people. They were a huge support to me as deputies, and I wish them well in their future endeavours. I want to thank Adam and Rachel for filling their shoes—thank you—and Rachel obviously, as whip, I think, is the best whip in the Senate, but of course I'm biased. Thank you for the great work you do, but to all of my team: you've done a great job.

One of the good things of course is that we got to welcome two new people. We finally had our Democrats moment—people have been warning about that for a long time—with the arrival of Andrew. So thank you for—

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