Thursday, 7 December 2017
by leave—I'd like to echo the positive comments of all previous speakers. In anyone's books, this year has been a big year. It has especially been a big year for me and newly minted Senator Rex Patrick. Perhaps it has even been a cursed year, because the past few months have certainly been very interesting times. We end the year with seven new faces and four empty seats. A head-spinning number of senators have come and gone in a short time, including my former colleagues, Nick Xenophon and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.
Nick and Skye were both valued colleagues, and, as I end the year, I'd like to take one last opportunity to pay tribute to their hard work, their successes and their desire to do good as NXT senators, particularly for our beloved South Australia. Together we achieved greater protection for children against online predators, better Australian procurement in government, important funding for apprenticeship mentoring and funds to build Australia's first proton therapy centre for cancer, which will be located in South Australia. We expect next year to bring other work to fruition, including improved whistleblower protections and more.
Skye and Nick were here very much for the right reasons, and we certainly hope, as the dust settles, the new colleagues who we'll welcome in this place and the other place in the new year will be here for the right reasons too. I might add that Skye's career is not done and dusted. This was just the first chapter, and I'm sure that we'll be benefitting from her great work again soon. I'd like to end by wishing everyone a happy and restorative break. Here's hoping 2018 is far calmer and a less interesting year than 2017.
Honourable senators: Hear, hear!