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Adjournment Debate: 2023 Valedictory

30 November 2023

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (17:57): Briefly, on behalf of the Greens, I want to wish everybody a safe and happy Christmas. For me, Christmas has always been a time to celebrate the good things in life; that is, friends and family. As the Hon. Nicola Centofanti has alluded to, it can also be a very sad time for many in our community, particularly those who have lost loved ones during the year, and my thoughts are going to be with those South Australians who are struggling at the moment—those who are struggling with loneliness but also those who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

I know I also speak for all of us in the chamber when I say that our thoughts will be with people in the Middle East as well, as they deal with the profound loss and sadness that comes from war and conflict at this time of year. It is certainly my hope that in the new year, we finally see some peace for our troubled world and, in particular, that troubled region where there is so much profound sadness.

Reflecting a bit on this year, there have been some pretty significant bills and reforms that have come to this parliament for consideration. Certainly, from a crossbench perspective, we have found ourselves often playing quite a key role, and that has led to sometimes moments of agreement and sometimes stoushes. One of the things that I really appreciate, however, about this parliament and in particular this chamber is the respectful and collegial way that we are able to work. Whilst we do have disagreements, I think it speaks to the strength of our democracy that we are able to come together and work together, and long may that tradition continue, particularly when one reflects on some of the terrible things that are unfolding around the world.

I sincerely thank all members of this place who we have had an opportunity to work with this year, and all the staff across the building who keep things moving. Thank you, Mr President, for your leadership and fair and balanced approach to adjudicating often some challenging debates, so thank you for that. I also in particular want to thank my staff. I often joke and say that as politicians we are the lead singers of the band, but it is the staff who do all the work in terms of writing the music and all the work behind the scenes.

I know everybody in this building works hard, but it is particularly true of crossbench staff, because often we have such a large legislative load, and our staff play a really important role in getting us across all the detail. With that, I wish everybody a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to working with you all next year in what I hope is a happy and productive year for the South Australian parliament.