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Speech on Amy MacMahon's car crash and leave from Parliament

On Thursday 7 March 2024, I gave a speech about the Greens MP for South Brisbane Amy MacMahon's car crash, in relation to a motion for her temporary leave from Parliament. You can read my speech below, or in the official record of Parliamentary Proceedings (Hansard) here.

I just wanted to take the opportunity, acknowledging that this is a very procedural motion, at the invitation of the Leader of the House to offer a few comments and a bit of an update on behalf of the member for South Brisbane. First of all, I just want to express my gratitude to everyone. Essentially, all of the members here and staff across the precinct have approached me and sought to find out how Amy is faring. I appreciate your concern and I have passed those well wishes on to Amy and I know that she is grateful for everyone's kind words.

By way of update, she is recovering well. She is certainly much improved over the last couple of weeks. She will of course be having ongoing treatment, particularly lots of physio and occupational therapy, in the coming weeks. That said, everyone is very confident that she will make a full recovery but it is likely to take some time yet. I had the chance to visit Amy on the weekend just past after she had returned home from hospital and I can only say that it was a huge relief to see her up and about and smiling and so completely herself. Any one of us here who has seen the footage of the crash knows what a hell of an incident it was. It was quite extraordinary. We are really lucky it did not turn out far worse is all I will say about that. Amy, as I am sure everyone here knows, is an incredibly hardworking local member and she is absolutely dying to get back to the job and get back to her community, but I do want to say that I am very grateful to the government and opposition for their agreement in extending whatever time she requires to recoup properly.

The date that is mentioned in the motion is something of a best guess. Obviously we would like to see her back here as soon as possible, but we do not want there to be any undue pressure to draw her away from a full recovery. I did consult with the member for South Brisbane about when she expected to be back and that is where we landed.
She did also ask me to add in a little shout-out to the people of South Brisbane and to thank them for their patience while she is out of action. She also wanted me to expressly thank the paramedics and the staff at the PA Hospital, to thank everyone who is offering her ongoing health care and support and to make a note of how important it is that we all have access to well-funded and staffed public health care.

On a personal note, can I say how unfortunate it has been to be reminded of how lonely it can be working here by yourself. I have missed Amy's friendship and camaraderie over the last few weeks. She always brings an incredibly incisive take on the work that we do here and reflects on and questions a lot of the conventions in this place in a way that I think very few people do. I will share one small anecdote to this effect. During perhaps the first condolence motion that was conducted after she was elected, she was not sure what was going on. She leaned over to me and said in a very deadpan, almost wry fashion, ‘If they ever have to do one of these for me, just tell everyone to shut up and get on with the work.’ It is sobering that any of us could even have to contemplate the possibility of that eventuating. Again I thank everyone for their thoughts and well wishes and, in the spirit of Amy's wry comment, I will shut up and let us get on with the work.

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