Valedictories

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Ms Franks, we are waiting for a couple of messages, so we have plenty of time for expressions of love and compassion.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (17:36): I rise, despite my voice, noting that in the spirit of collaboration I believe we have a message with regard to the joint house committee to consider the Social Workers Registration Bill. For me, that is something that absolutely exemplifies the spirit of his place and of this parliament. When we work together, we can achieve great things for South Australians and, I would hope, for our country.

As I eagerly await someone entering the chamber with a manila folder—more than I ever have before, I must say—I reflect and certainly associate myself with the comments previously made in this place about respect for democracy, about respect for diversity of views and about how it is not just the MPs who sit in this chamber that make democracy work but all of the people who keep the wheels turning, whether they be parliamentary staff, the catering staff, the people who keep our computers working and secure, PNSG, those in the library, and those who assist us with the research to make sure we get our facts straight. Certainly, on the point of those who teach us new words in this place, I would add that any woman who has ever had a baby already knows the word perineum.

I thank you, Mr President, in particular. I think you do have a tough job in this place and you have done it admirably this year. Certainly sitting on the crossbenches, with the contests and the jousting that goes across from the government to the opposition, and the opposition to the government, we sometimes do feel a little in the crossfire, but I do respect that you value each of us equally in this place.

We all have that diversity of opinion, and we all have the right to participate in the democracy as members of this place. I thank you for your respect for the crossbench in particular but also the patience that you have had to show, which you have shown in every single movement of your face, each and every question time. My only advice to you, Mr President, is do not play poker, because you make a far better President than you ever would as a poker player.

I look eagerly to see if that folder was perhaps the manila folder we are waiting for. I note that in the other place they are currently making valedictories and paying tribute to the current member for Cheltenham, the former Premier, Jay Weatherill. I also wish to add my respect for the leadership shown by Premier Weatherill, whether that be for the raft of rainbow reforms the Weatherill government led, or standing up in tough times for real climate action and for renewables, which he has done, often in the face of quite strong media, and political, backlash.

However, to my mind he has always been a leader who did not just float with the wind, did not stick his finger up and see which way the wind was blowing that day, but he stood for what was right for our state, for our planet and for our people in terms of standing against inequality. I think those values will be his legacy. It is a sad day in this place when we lose any member of parliament, but certainly to see a former premier step down. I think is a sad day. His speech this morning—and while it would be unparliamentary of me, I think, to reflect upon that speech necessarily—showed his great commitment to decency, civility and democracy.

This place is a very intimate chamber. That is certainly something my former boss and former senator Natasha Stott Despoja first remarked on when I showed her around this chamber: that this is a very intimate place. We have our duels and debates, and our diversity and our agreements and our achievements, but we all have to come back in here to this very small chamber, and we do so without throwing chairs, without throwing punches, and I think that is something that we should be rightly proud of in South Australia.

I am hoping that that is the manila folder that I am waiting for, Mr President, and I am hoping your poker face will give me an indication. With those few words I am going to sit down now so that I can have another last word.

The PRESIDENT: Does any other honourable member have a contribution on this motion? We have one message which has to be read.

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