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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 8144

Senator MACKAY (7:13 AM) —I want to very briefly add my comments in thanking some people from the other parties that comprise the Senate. I make particular mention of the whips. We have Senator Ferris from the coalition and Senator Allison from the Democrats, and the staff representative from the Greens is also a woman.

Senator Brown —Katrina.

Senator MACKAY —Yes, I did not know whether she wanted to be named. There are other staff from other parties—One Nation and so on. The joint whips meetings are quite different, although I did have a lot of time for Senator Calvert; I think he was very good. I enjoy them very much. It is a refreshing change that the people who are running the Senate—and I do not count the managers in that; I am sorry—are women. All the whips positions are elected, unlike the managers positions, so we do have the moral authority over that group. Having said that, I do recognise the role that managers play from time to time in organising the business of the Senate.

I would also like to thank my whip's team: the token male, Senator Geoff Buckland, who holds his own, and Senator Trish Crossin as well. Both of them have been very helpful and useful, and we are just a part of a team, as is the rest of the Labor Party in the Senate. The Labor Party is a pretty tight group here in the Senate. I would also like to recognise the cooperation from the government—both the National Party and the Liberal Party—and the Democrats, the Greens and One Nation. I genuinely think we all get on pretty well here. Most of the people are extremely decent and are here for very good motives. I would like to thank the clerks, who have been terrific as always. From the opposition's perspective, I would particularly like to thank Cleaver Elliott, who is the clerk that assists us. As others have done, I would also like to thank the ushers as well. Basically, I would like to thank everybody. I suppose I am bound to miss somebody out.

Senator Ian Campbell —Sue, I forgot to mention the Hansard staff. They need thanking, too.

Senator MACKAY —Yes, absolutely. On behalf of all of us, I would like to thank Hansard very much indeed for extraordinarily producing speeches which bear very little resemblance to the ones that we actually give—once they have gone through them, edited them, made the corrections and so on. I think they do a fantastic job.

On behalf of the Labor Party—I will not restate what everyone else has said—I wish everybody a good break. I think we all need one, especially after tonight. I hope it is a peaceful break, and I echo the sentiments of Senator Bartlett about the worrying developments with respect to the US and Iraq. I really would urge people to take a Bex and have a good lie down, as they say—to `chill out', as is the vernacular these days—and look after themselves and get reacquainted with their families and friends. I think there is an issue up here in terms of isolation from normality. So, on behalf of the Labor Party, good luck, have a good break and we will see you all next year, fresh and reinvigorated.