Thursday, 5 December 2019
Arnold, Ms Debbie
I seek leave to make a short statement?
Thank you very much. Today, as many in this chamber may well be aware and some may not be, is the last day of work for a Senate parliamentary officer. Today's the last day Debbie Arnold will be with us in the chamber. For the last three years she has worked absolutely tirelessly. In the six months I have spent as Manager of Government Business and the nine months prior to that as Deputy Manager of Government Business, I have seen Debbie's smiling face every morning at a quarter to seven. She's seen me in tracksuit pants; she has seen me dolled up for TV—hopefully it hasn't been any worse than that! Debbie absolutely has been of amazing assistance to me and I'm sure to those opposite. I'm sure the opposition would wholeheartedly agree she has been an amazing person, with a sunny disposition, very infectious laughter and a great turn of phrase like 'fake Friday' for every Thursday we're here. On behalf of the government can I say a huge thank you to Debbie, wish her all the best in her return back to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Debbie, we're going to miss you.
I seek leave to make a very short statement.
The Labor Party rises to associate with the comments made by the Manager of Government Business, Senator Ruston, in relation to parliamentary liaison officer Debbie Arnold. Debbie, on behalf of the Labor Party, thank you for all your work and for your cheery disposition. We have a meeting with Debbie every morning. I don't think you've seen me in tracksuits. You've seen me running late, though, a lot of times and have been very polite about that. She's always really helpful in those meetings despite our attempts to get her to give us any intelligence on what the government's plans were for the day. She very politely didn't. But we do appreciate all the hard work. We wish you all the best in the next stage of your career, all the best back at the department. I'm sure it won't be as interesting and perhaps as unexpected and challenging as this place but all the best and thank you very much.