It is with great pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge a great Canberran, John Hargreaves, on his retirement from the ACT Legislative Assembly. John was first elected to the assembly in March 1998, making him one of the longest serving MLAs since self-government. He has had a colourful career in politics and his sense of humour and oratory will be greatly missed by his colleagues.
John was born in the UK in 1949, migrated to Australia at the age of three and moved to Canberra in 1968. He undertook National Service and served in the Army Reserve. Before entering politics he was a public servant for nearly 30 years, earning him the Long and Dedicated Service Award for the ACT.
As a MLA John has been a longstanding member of several committees and served as a minister in a number of portfolios such as Disabilities, Housing, Community Services and Multicultural Affairs. He has been a fine representative for he electorate of Brindabella and his contribution to the local community in the ACT has not gone unnoticed.
John is also a fierce and one-eyed Collingwood supporter, and I join with him in saying: go Pies! I am confident John Hargreaves will look back on his many years in politics with pride and I wish him all the best for his retirement.
In closing I want to say that I am proud of the Raiders' achievements this year and congratulate South Sydney, and the member for Grayndler, on Saturday's victory.