Peter's Blog

Opposition Whip

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (15:32): I rise today to make what is most likely my last grieve for the year on the day that is most likely the last sitting day of the year. I speak as the Opposition Whip. It takes a lot of people to make a place like this operate and run smoothly. I would like to acknowledge a few of the people I have worked with throughout this past year when I have fulfilled the duties of Opposition Whip. It has not been without its challenges but, for the most part, it has been thoroughly enjoyable. I would like to thank my party room for electing me to that position.

To the Speaker, in all his sartorial splendour and germane rulings, we are sorry to see him go. The Deputy Speaker, the member for Florey, fulfils her duties diligently and very conscientiously, sitting for many hours not just in the Speaker’s chair but also as the Chair of Committees as bills go through the committee stage. The Clerks, including Rick (who is not here at the moment) and his staff—I see David, Shannon and Shane are all here, and others as well—respond to every question that is put to them throughout the working day.

To Hansard staff, thank you. You make us all sound wonderful. I do not know how you do that, but we appreciate the work you do and the opportunity we have to check that work. Some of us take that up, some of us do not. I know when I take classes of schoolchildren through, they are always intrigued with Hansard particularly and the job that you do, so thank you for that.

To catering, building services, security, committee officers and all the staff, thank you. I am sitting on two committees at the moment—the Public Works Committee and the Natural Resources Committee—and the support staff that we get through our committee work is much appreciated.

Obviously, as Opposition Whip, I have had to work with the government on a daily basis, certainly Corey Harriss, and the leader of government business, who was for most of the year the member for Playford, but, since announcing his retirement, the member for West Torrens. I do not have necessarily much direct contact with them, but obviously they are key in laying out how the day unfolds and the Notice Paper each and every day.

I have enjoyed working with the manager of opposition business, who I sit next to, the member for Morialta, the former whip. The member for Morialta loves politics. He is really passionate about his politics and he is good at it, so as the manager of business he and I work closely together. To the Government Whip, I would like to acknowledge the member for Newland and the working relationship we have built up over this year. It is imperative that the Government Whip and Opposition Whip are able to work together, have frank discussions and can trust each other. That is the relationship we have had, so I thank him for allowing us to have that. Certainly, my conversations with him go on for the entire working day.

To the leader and deputy leader, the member for Dunstan and the member for Bragg, my congratulations to you on leading our team. I certainly am optimistic that next year we will be on the other side of the chamber, that the member for Dunstan will be the Premier of South Australia and that we collectively will be serving under him. I wish him and all my colleagues all the best in the upcoming election. To my parliamentary colleagues, thank you for the working relationship we have developed. My job as whip is to know where you all are all the time. I do not know that that necessarily happens, but certainly I have attempted to do it. You have done your best to inform me of your positions throughout the year, so thank you for that.

To retiring members, the members for Finniss, Goyder, Heysen, Kavel and MacKillop, I value your friendship. As senior members of the Liberal parliamentary team, I have certainly learnt a lot from you. You will all be missed in this place. People come and go in this place—we do, and that is the nature of the business—but we will miss you. I wish well retiring members from the government side—the Speaker, the member for Ashford and the member for Colton. I have struck up friendships and worked on committees with both the members for Ashford and Colton. I also wish well the member for Playford and the member for Wright.

Finally, in the closing seconds of this contribution, I would like to thank my staff back at the Flinders electorate office: Jacqui, Aimee and Myriam, who share days; Nicole, who has been temping for us; Di at Ceduna, who holds the fort in the Far West; and I would particularly like to thank in this building Grace Paterson, who has come on board in the whip’s office, for her work in helping assist the whip.