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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4021

Mr HAWKE (Prime Minister) —by leave-As we begin this last item on the parliamentary program for 1986 it is appropriate, I believe, to record the first. I refer, of course, to your election, Madam Speaker, to the Speakership of this House, which members on both sides of the House would agree was one of the more important events not only of this year but of the history of this House. We remember it now at the end of the year with a great deal of pride. I would like on behalf of the Government to thank all those who have served this House through what by any standard has been a long and arduous year. I wish them personally, and their families, a particularly happy and restful Christmas. I mention particularly in this regard the Whips and their staff-on our side, Joan McKain especially-and the Parliamentary Liaison Officer, John Engledow. I also wish a merry Christmas to and thank our friends who sit above us in the Press Gallery. I know there are not too many of them there now but I know that they are listening and dwelling on every word that I say. Once again during this year they have been prepared to suffer the hardships of Kakadu National Park, the non-members bar and even my bowling in order to keep the Australian public accurately informed of political events. Madam Speaker, I conclude by extending to you and all members, from both sides of the House, best wishes from me and from the Government for Christmas and the new year.