Starting a new job is always a nerve racking experience.
Coming into this place though is something else altogether.
In particular the prospect of working with those opposite on committees was a bit of an unknown – none of us were really sure how personalities would mesh and how it would all play out.
I have to say I got lucky – Working with Steve on the Environment and Transport and City Services Committee has been a pleasure.
Right from day one Steve has worked collaboratively with his first time colleagues on the Committee, often mentoring them as they learned the ropes.
He is the most experienced person on the committee but he never took advantage of the fact he’d been around a bit longer and by default knew a bit more than us fresh faces.
He took opportunities to share advice when needed or provide encouragement when he could tell we might be second guessing ourselves even just a little bit - usually on a matter of process.
This is not to say he hasn’t done his job as an opposition MLA – I will never forget when, at the end of the first day chairing an annual reports hearing, Steve lent over and said to me “sorry for giving you some grief but you handled it well”.
And I think that goes to the heart of what I have come to appreciate Steve to be – a dedicated MLA who goes about his work but always in a manner that reflects the gentleman he is.
In those first days when we were all wondering what it would be like working in the Assembly alongside those of a different political stripe, I never thought I would be standing here speaking glowingly about a colleague opposite.
Steve it has been an absolute pleasure to work with you and I thank you for the lessons you have imparted on me.