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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1359


Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (15:19): I add my congratulations and my respect to Robyn McClelland on what is a remarkable 40 years of service to the public sector, beginning at the Australian National Audit Office, the National Library and the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal before you arrived here back in 1991. You have been serving at the table here for some 18 years, and in that time you have shown expertise and, indeed, a great deal of character.

My colleagues have spoken about the advice that the clerks give to people. What is also the case is that you often receive requests from both sides about the same thing. You often have to keep in confidence an inquiry about whether a particular motion or position taken in the parliament would be in order and provide assistance to make sure that it is in order, and then give advice to the other side on how they might undo the first lot of advice! You do so in a way that has the total respect of everyone that you have worked with. The other thing about being at the table here is that you work under pressure. Quite often in the heat of battle, it is the people at the table who have to stay calm, make sure that practice is complied with and give advice to the Speaker or whoever is in the chair. You have always been professional, clear and calm in that advice—unlike, it must be said, the rest of us, who can only aspire to that objective. You have been a pleasure to work with. I wish you, Sam and your family well. As a former Leader of the House, as a former Manager of Opposition Business, as a member of parliament but also as someone who runs into you around the building, you always have a smile, a 'hello' and a cheer, and a professional approach to your work and diligence here. You will be missed by all of us. I wish you well.