I bump into so many people around town who say to me….”How’s it going in the Assembly ? Are you enjoying it in there ?”
I am enjoying it immensely…..but I’m not a good judge of such matters. When I say that, what I mean is I have a tendency to embrace and enjoy whatever I’m doing. I daresay if I were sentenced to 20 years in jail, I’d enjoy it in there. I’m sure that incarceration for such a long period would have many downsides, but I figure that wherever you are, you may as well be there.
It’s frustrating that there are 14 of them and 11 of us. It means that we’re not going to win many votes in the chamber, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t achieve great things.
I’ve been lucky enough to be given Housing as a shadow ministry. This portfolio space is rich with opportunities to genuinely help people. Although as a shadow, I don’t have control of the levers and mechanisms in the directorate, I am in a prime position to shine and light on injustice and mistakes and apply the pressure necessary to achieve positive results. I’m pleased to say that in the first 3 months as Shadow Minister for Housing, I have managed to assist dozens of people with the help of my hardworking staff Rob Lovett and Brad Clarke. If you are experiencing problems related to public housing in the ACT, I would urge you to contact my office. I must applaud the office of the Housing Minister and the Housing Directorate for responding in a prompt fashion to most of the concerns that my office has raised with them.
Housing affordability or lack thereof is very clearly one of the biggest single failures of this government. In the next 4 years, I’d like assist those who have fallen through the cracks of the over stretched public housing system and to construct a policy framework which will better serve us all.
It is day 1 of the new Legislative Assembly sitting year.
I’m in my office. We’ve just had our sitting day party room meeting. Party room meets every Monday morning at 9.30 and on every sitting day at 9am. So, ‘Partyroom’ involves all of the MLA’s and the leader’s Chief of Staff. The same crew will meet again each sitting day in the early afternoon to discuss questions without notice.
I still feel like a fish out of water in many instances. It sounds a little odd to me when Assembly staff address me as “Mr Parton”. I struggle to come terms with wearing a suit and tie every day of a sitting week and getting the obligatory mention at public functions as being among the ‘VIP guests’. I’m not a ‘very important person’, I’m just an individual who has been given the role to represent many others in our local parliament.
I’m heading to the chamber. Wish me luck.