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Last Sitting of 2022 - Merry Christmas and Happy New year

1 December 2022

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS : I rise on behalf of the Greens to wish all members here a safe and happy Christmas. Might I begin by reflecting on personally how much I have enjoyed the collegial culture in this chamber. I have had the opportunity to serve, albeit for very brief periods, in the federal parliament and also in local government. I think one of the things that really sets this chamber, and indeed this parliament, apart from others is the collegial culture that we have—the good humour and the strong personal relationships that are built across party lines.

I do sincerely want to thank all members of parliament. In particular, might I say that I was absent from the chamber last year when we had these reflections, but I want to thank everybody for welcoming me into the chamber last year and say what a great privilege it has been to work with you all over the last 18 months.

On behalf of the Greens, I want to thank all of the staff, not only those in this chamber but across the building, for the terrific work they do to ensure that we can all do our jobs effectively. As has been observed, it would be impossible for us to function without the terrific work that they do, so I really want to thank them. I want to thank you, Mr President, for your leadership of this chamber and to congratulate you on your elevation to the chair this year. It is great to have you there.

I also want to thank my own team: Lisa, Melanie, Sean, Zoe (who worked in my office for a time) and, more recently, Rylie. I would also like to thank Malwina, who has recently departed for Tammy Franks' office, who has been a long-term staffer for Tammy and a vital part of the Greens team. Of course, I want to thank my colleague Tammy for all of her support and friendship this year, in the parliament and outside.

Finally, I will make a brief statement around what Christmas represents for me. It is always a time for thanksgiving, for reflection and celebrating the good things of life: friends and family. It is also an important time to remember those who are less fortunate. As observed by the Leader of the Opposition, I know that there will be many who are struggling during this Christmas period—many who struggle with loneliness, many who will struggle to meet the cost of living. I know that our thoughts are with them all during this Christmas period.

It is our sincere hope, from the Greens' perspective, that the New Year brings happier times for all South Australians and, indeed, relief to many across the world who are struggling with significant challenges such as war, famine and growing inequality.