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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 9971


Senator SCULLION (Northern TerritoryMinister for Indigenous Affairs and Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (23:28): I rise on behalf of The Nationals in the Senate to say thank you to all who have supported us in this place. We wish everyone a very merry Christmas. To you, Mr President: thank you so much. This place would not work without an even hand, mate. You have given that in spades under some pretty trying circumstances. So, for that, thank you. To my colleagues in The Nationals, particularly my deputy, Fiona: thank you so much for being a great team. I am really looking forward to coming back and punching on with you in a successful 2016.

To all of those on the various benches in this place: I wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and an enjoyable and restful break. While at times we may disagree, we are all in this game together. I suspect the friendships that we share across the political divide are often what get us through what can otherwise be a somewhat isolated life. I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all the staff in the Senate and particularly acknowledge Dr Rosemary Laing and her incredible team, who help manage the business of this place every day. In particular, I thank all the staff in all our offices. They are up at this completely ungodly hour. They are looking very much forward to going home as well. Thank you for your ongoing work.

I also thank those who work with our staff, including the Comcar drivers. A particular thankyou to Ian and Peter for your efforts. How you get those cars to the places we end up sometimes staggers me. A particular thank you to the security guards and to the cleaners, particularly to those cleaners who help themselves—as they should—to the rabbits from my freezer, which enables me to go out on the weeknights and keep the feral population at a decent level. All of them have a wonderful, friendly face for senators. It does not matter what time of the day we are here, so thank you.

Most importantly, thank you to our families for the unconditional support you provide. Although we are often away, I am sure we could not do our jobs with the conviction that we have without your support. As we enter this festive season, I encourage everyone to take that well-earned break, enjoy the valuable time with family, get some sunlight and recharge those batteries. I am looking forward to seeing you all in the new year. Merry Christmas.