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Friday, 25 November 2011
Page: 9718

Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (17:01): by leave—On behalf of the National Party, I wish all in this chamber a very, very happy and healthy festive season. I echo the remarks from others before me on the extensive list of people that we need to thank for the smooth running of this place, particularly Dr Laing, Richard Pye and all of those here who ensure that smooth running. This place is a little bit like a duck: it looks very smooth on the top but those paddling feet are going like crazy underneath, and it is all those support staff who make this place run so smoothly. I will not echo all of the list that the President read out. I will just say that we concur in thanking all of those people, who assist all year round in making sure that we in this place can do our job.

I often think that, with more than 20 million people in the country, there are only 76 people sitting here in this chamber. It is for us an honour and a privilege to be here. I thank those people across this nation who have put us all here and wish them a very happy, healthy and safe festive season. Senator Evans and Senator Abetz raised the issue of family and friends. I certainly cannot wait to get home to my husband, David, and my sons, Will and Henry, and I know everybody else in this chamber is looking forward to getting home to family and friends after what has been a very long year. But there is no doubt, as we move towards Christmas and reflect on the year, that what we do matters and that we are incredibly fortunate in this nation to have such a wonderful democracy.

I thank my colleagues for all their collegiate times and the collegiate work we have done together on this side of the chamber. We are indeed very fortunate to have the collective coalition family that we do. To colleagues right around the chamber: a very merry Christmas and a very happy and safe festive season.