MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.43): It was less than four months ago that I made my inaugural speech in this place; so I do not feel the need to go through a million thankyous again. But I would very briefly like to express my appreciation to everyone in the Assembly, including the staff, but especially to Rachael Eason in my office, to Angela McGuinness, my adviser, and to my family.

Six months ago I would not have dreamed that I would be here making an adjournment speech. In fact, I did not know what an adjournment speech was. Here, hopefully for your enjoyment, is my Christmas adjournment offering, entitled "The last sitting day before Christmas."I hope you take it in the festive spirit in which it is intended. With apologies to Clement Seymour, here we go.

A few weeks until Christmas, and all through the building

Every member was stirring, to holidays yielding.

The greeting cards had all been written out by hand

And distributed magically throughout our wide land.

The backbenchers jockeyed and jostled and climbed

While visions of ministries danced in their minds.

The Chief Minister and the Greens were ready to snooze

And had told themselves they could never lose.

When out on the lawns of Kingston was a clatter

They sprang from their chairs to see what was the matter.

No sooner was the grass settled when along came a review

Of the pricing structure for our troubled ACTEW.

The federal challenge to the Equal Marriage Act

Was another hurdle to the Greens-Labor pact.

Then what to our wandering eyes should appear

But a large-scale solar farm, to the residents' fear.

But with a town full of protestors lively and quick

I knew in a moment it wouldn't stick.

More rapid than light rail, the problems they came,

And I can write them and list them and call them by name.

Now hospital data, next tripling of rates

Oh, executive contracts, too many jail inmates.

Such a long list, the Chief Minister called,

Just get away, get away, go away, all.

Like the documents that come from a good FOI

When they are requested, piled up so high

Or uncollected recycling, the issues come through

The Cotter Dam overspend, the GDE too.

It seems only a minute since the opportunity arose

To join the Assembly, a path that I chose.

I nodded my head, and with eight vital votes,

I was confident, bold, ready, or so said my notes.

Mr Hanson, our leader, impeccably dressed head to foot,

His clothes no longer from a uniform put.

A bundle of policies was flung on his back

And he looked very gleeful just opening his pack.

His eyes how they twinkled, his face all aglow

From his mornings at boot camp, he is not just for show.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

And the hair on his chin was clean-shaven as though

Peter Jean was waiting to take the best shot

With Mr Coe or maybe Doszpot.

There was experience of decades from Brendan Smyth

Who knows that a budget surplus is a myth,

Mrs Dunne as the Speaker, plus Mr Wall

Mrs Jones and myself making up us all.

They were warm and welcoming as I replaced Zed

And celebrated when the Libs won at the fed.

A wink of their eye and a nod of their head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

We spoke a few words and went straight to work

And, using up question time, sort out the murk.

Still seeking the ultimate questions to find

The secrets the government is hiding behind.

While I am wistful for a more gentle approach

To each other in the chamber, I bear no reproach.

So in spite of the insults and slurs that we make

Merry Christmas to all, have a happy, safe break.

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