The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL (Dunstan—Premier) (17:42): On indulgence, I rise to make some concluding remarks for the year 2019. This has been a very important year for our government. It is the second year that we have been in government. It is the second year in a very long period of time. It has been a productive year.
Earlier today, I outlined to the house that 39 separate bills have passed this chamber during this year. Although the Manager of Government Business points out to me that this is not an unusually large number, I do point out that many of the bills that we dealt with this year were issues of very significant reform, and reform that was long overdue. I must say that, as the Leader of the Government, I feel very proud that we tackled some of the hardest, most complex, but necessary, pieces of legislation through this house. I thank all members for the contributions they have made.
In particular, this afternoon I would like to pay my very special thanks to the Deputy Premier, the Attorney-General in this place, the member for Bragg, who has supported me now as the deputy leader of the Liberal Party for much of the last seven years. I think we are already the longest serving leadership duo in the Liberal Party since Tom Playford was the Premier of South Australia, so it is quite a long period of time, and long may it continue. I am particularly grateful to the Deputy Premier for the way she has applied herself, particularly in this chamber and in the cabinet supporting the government's agenda.
I would also like to draw attention to the work of the Manager of Government Business, the member for Morialta, who carries a huge workload during sitting weeks. He makes an enormous contribution in cabinet, and for that I am very grateful. I am grateful also to our whip and deputy whip, who have to keep everybody in line. They do that most of the time, but they always do it with a great degree of humility and humour.
We have spoken in the past about the work of our government compared with previous governments and other governments around Australia, and we do have a great working relationship in our cabinet. Cabinet has met twice per week since we came to government, once as Executive Council on Thursday mornings with His Excellency the Governor of South Australia, the Hon. Hieu Van Le. It is an honour, a privilege and a pleasure to work with him and the team at Government House.
We have an excellent Governor in South Australia. I was so delighted earlier this year when Her Majesty The Queen extended his service to the people of South Australia for another two years. That will take his total service as the Governor of South Australia to seven years. Of course, before that he had seven years as the Lieutenant-Governor of South Australia, so this will be an enormous 14 years of contribution in a vice-regal role in South Australia. I do not think we have ever had somebody who has made such an enormous contribution and we certainly thank him for the important work he does.
I acknowledge the work of the Treasurer and our leader in the other place, the Hon. Rob Lucas, and thank him for his leadership in that place. Can I acknowledge all the members on my side of the house. We have 11 new members this term out of 25 on this side of the house. It is an enormous changing of the guard for the Liberal Party. It is really important to have that renewal within a political party. Sometimes it is a difficult period, when many people with experience leave and many new people come in, but I just want to commend everybody in the joint party room for the way that they have welcomed the new members in.
I particularly want to commend the new members for the incredible contribution that they have made. It is like they have been here for decades with the contribution that they make. I think that the efforts they are making in their individual seats are outstanding and I always enjoy visiting their electorates. Long may that continue.
I would also especially like to thank my assistant minister, the Hon. Jing Lee. Jing has many passions and one of those, of course, is multicultural affairs in South Australia. This is a task she has dedicated herself to over a very long period of time. That is a real point of differentiation for our state: we have very harmonious multicultural relations in South Australia. We should be grateful for that and must never take it for granted. I am very pleased that all sides of politics and every one of the 69 members of the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council dedicate themselves to making sure that we can maintain these harmonious multicultural relations we have here in South Australia. Long may that continue.
To the Leader of the Opposition and his team, we thank them for their contribution this year in this house and in this parliament and the contribution they make more broadly in South Australia. I extend that grateful thanks to all members of parliament, including the Greens, SA-Best and, of course, the Hon. Mr Darley.
In my own office, 2019 has pretty much been a changing of the guard. My longstanding chief of staff, James Stevens, left and went to the federal parliament. He is now the member for Sturt, and we wish him all the very best for that. My deputy chief of staff, Alex May, the longest serving member of my team, also left this year to pursue a career in the private sector. I would certainly like to acknowledge the contribution they made to my coming into this role. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be the Premier of South Australia without the excellent service of James Stevens and Alex May.
I also congratulate Courtney Morcombe and Paul Armanas on filling those positions vacated by James and Alex. Both Courtney and Paul have worked in my team for a long period of time. I think it is great to be able to promote from within. I think that we have a very tight and very hardworking team in my office, and for that I am very grateful.
I am also very grateful to Ashton Hurn, who stepped into the role of the leader of our media team. She will tell me off in a minute for not knowing her title. She really runs a very capable media team. In fact, she is the Director of Media and Communications and the Senior Press Secretary to the Premier. There you go—she wrote it down for me. I would like to acknowledge the great work of the media team in South Australia: Greg Charter, Belinda Heggen, Kathryn McFarlane, Eleisa Hancock, Todd Clappis, Katrina Stokes, Simon Halliwell, Ken McGregor, Ryan Smith, Gemma Coombe, Dave Franchitto and Mackenzie Mansell.
It is really important that we communicate what we are doing as a government to the people of South Australia. These are difficult roles, and I am very grateful for the work they do, as I am also very grateful to my advisory team, which is very ably led by Richard Yeeles, who has played such an important role in the policy development of this government. So, to Richard Yeeles and to all his team, I say a very grateful thanks.
I would also like to thank Penny Gordon, who looks after my electorate office. It is a very busy electorate office. I love spending time in my electorate. Sometimes people who come into this place and take on leadership roles have very safe seats. I think that at the last election my margin was 0.9 of a per cent. It has crept up ever so slightly to about 5 per cent. It is an electorate I love and I will never take for granted. I am certainly very grateful to Penny and the team there for the incredible work they do on a daily basis when I am often elsewhere.
Can I thank the team who work here in Parliament House. I think that we should all feel very grateful to work in such an historic and important building. It is a privilege to come into this building every day. I feel very humbled to be in this chamber where we have created every law in South Australia since 1889, and I think it is a very great and special pleasure to be in the old chamber where important pieces of legislation, including granting women the right to vote and to run for parliament, passed through that chamber, just adjacent to this chamber, 125 years ago.
It is a great pleasure to come here and work on a daily basis, but it does not come without a lot of dedicated service from the men and women who work here, many of whom have been here for a long period of time. Can I particularly thank the Clerk of our house, Rick Crump—thank you, sir—and to David. Thank you very much for the great work that you do and that all the House of Assembly staff do. We are very grateful for the professional way in which you go about all your work in this place. I also acknowledge the work of the Clerk in the Legislative Council and Black Rod, Chris Schwarz and Guy Dickson.
I would particularly like to draw attention to the work that David Woolman does in looking after the fabric of this incredible building. As I said, it is a great privilege and a pleasure, and I think that at every turn there are opportunities to improve this, and in every term of government we should be looking at ways in which we can enhance the fabric of this building. David is doing it a little bit tough at the moment because his father is very ill and we wish him all the very best for a full recovery.
Can I thank the staff in the South Australian Parliament Research Library, led by Dr John Weste, who have made very significant enhancements to the fabric of the library in recent times, and of course the quality of the research that is done there is always of the very highest order.
Can I thank the members of the catering team, led by Creon Grantham, who always make us feel very special when we have important guests who come into the dining room. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the people who really run this building, Nicky and Karen in the Blue Room. They always bring a massive smile to my face when I head down to the Blue Room. They are often sending me text messages during my contributions in this house. There might be one coming through right about now. Sometimes they are yawning quite significantly, and I think that they should be more respectful in future, but it is always fantastic to have the Blue Room team, recently augmented by Belinda.
Thank you very much to all the people who work in Hansard. Thank you very much. I cannot believe you do the work that you do. My goodness, you should get paid danger money for some of the rubbish that you have to sit through in this place. Thank you very much. There are so few people with the incredible skills you have, and to have such a large number of people with those skills here in this building is an honour for us, so please pass on our grateful thanks.
To the procedures office, the cleaning staff, the switchboard team, the maintenance team and our dedicated security team, I say a massive thank you. To the team who look after the finances and also the team at PNSG team, led by Lorraine Tonglee, I also say thank you very much. We are getting toward the end of the year and this is a time when people will get an opportunity to spend some time resting, some time with their family and with their friends. On behalf of my team on this side of the house, I wish everybody a very merry Christmas and I wish them all the very best for a happy and successful 2020.
Sitting extended beyond 18:00 on motion of Hon. J.A.W. Gardner.
Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (18:11): Much of what I want to say has been said, but I just want to say a bit as a member who almost lives in this house when we are sitting. I would like to acknowledge all the staff in this chamber: obviously, the Clerk, Rick Crump; David Pegram, the Deputy Clerk; the Serjeant-at-Arms, Lauren Williams, who also works on behalf of the Police Security Services branch; and Senior House Services Officer, Tonia Coulter, who also doubles as my parliamentary bowls secretary—and a fine bowler she is.
I would also like to thank the house services officers, including Glen Anderson, Will Coad, Jesse Fyfe and Antoni Rejman; the parliamentary officers, Anthea Howard, Dr Josh Forkert and Shannon Riggs, who is on leave currently with his first child. I also thank parliamentary assistant, Shane Hilton. If I have missed anyone, text me later.
The Hon. J.A.W. Gardner: We will deal with it next Thursday.
Mr PEDERICK: Yes, we will deal with it later. As far as people who help make this house work, I would like to acknowledge everyone, including building services and their manager, David Woolman, and Paul Chadwick and his team from KOJO who are in charge of broadcasting and filming. I am very enlightened by Paul's texts during the day and have some great conversations with him.
I would like to thank the catering division and manager, Creon Grantham. I do not know whether Creon realises how much power he has in this state. He runs a very tight ship. To him and all his staff—Karen, Nicky and the team—I congratulate them on getting us fed and watered and wonder when Bundaberg rum might be on the menu again in the members' bar. I would like to thank Pauline Thomson and her team from Corporate Services, as well as Kent Nelson and his team from finance.
I would also like to thank the ever-hardworking Hansard team and John Clarke, the Acting Leader. You never know how many friends you have in life, but I have found a lot in Hansard, I think, because they are very keen to talk to me at moments like lunchtime to ask how late we are going and this and that. Sometimes I think if I knew those answers I would be in another job rather than in this place. However, I appreciate that they are trying to find out if I can predict destiny. I do my best, Hansard, I do my best. I congratulate Hansard on their resilience because they, like us, have to hang around here until the bitter end and many times we do not know when the bitter end is. They make us sound human and I really appreciate their work and their friendship.
I would like to thank the parliamentary library and Dr John Weste. He is a great man and does some great work in the library with his team getting historical artefacts together and a whole range of material together. It is great when you take people through there. He takes his time if he sees you and shows you a few things that are going on there.
I thank the Parliamentary Network Support Group: Lorraine Tonglee, the manager, and her crew. I thank the cleaning staff. I have known Tammy for a long time. I occasionally see her coming in—I think I saw her today on her way in. Merry Christmas, Tammy, and all the cleaning staff. To all our staff, my staff and our families, you are all the people who keep us here and help make this place function. To everyone, including anyone I might have missed, thank you so much for your service.
I would like to acknowledge the Opposition Whip. He and I usually have a very harmonious arrangement, and I am glad that we can have some pretty up-front conversations and come to an arrangement. That is the whips' role: we are here to make the place work, so I appreciate those conversations. Through all the carnage of the Westminster style and its robust system, we can work it out and get there at the end of the day.
I think we will be back later on next week, but I would like to thank all my colleagues, all the opposition and the crossbenchers. I thank those people in the other place, even though I am still trying to work out the strange workings of the other place. I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Let's have a successful, robust debate here next year.