Barilaro, Constance farewell NSW politics

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After taking NSW for a ride on the "rollercoaster called Barilaro" for more than a decade, the former deputy premier and Nationals leader has called time.

John Barilaro on Wednesday gave his final speech as an MP, reflecting on his growth since first entering parliament in 2011 as a "wide-eyed naive chippy from Queanbeyan", determined to change the world.

That naivety was abundantly obvious, he said, when only three months into his time as the member for Monaro, he called for then-planning minister Brad Hazzard to resign.

"Brad's never forgiven me," he said, eliciting laughs from the Legislative Assembly.

"The day that I was promoted in 2014 as a minister he sent me a fake media release to call for my resignation."

While Mr Barilaro made an enemy of Mr Hazzard quickly, the senior MP soon became somewhat of a mentor.

"This is someone whose wise counsel I took and I know it's shaped me."

Mr Barilaro has since worked his way up from outspoken backbencher to minister and then deputy premier.

He helped steer NSW through a prolonged drought, severe flood disasters, a relentless mouse plague and a once-in-a-century pandemic.

But his tenure wasn't without controversy.

He faced criticism after nearly imploding the coalition over the state's koala protection policy, was caught disparaging colleagues in leaked text messages, and had his licence suspended after speeding and using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

"I've had some ups and downs over the years," he conceded.

"I feel like I've spent the last term - probably two terms - always dealing with a crisis of some sort.

"Maybe I caused some of those crises.

"But the truth is I did it with passion."

Born in Queanbeyan to Italian migrant parents, Mr Barilaro was a local councillor before taking on the seat of Monaro in 2011.

He is most proud of his local legacy, he said, citing the improvement in education opportunities around his electorate.

"It's not about a plaque on the wall, or the infrastructure ... the legacy is going to be what is the opportunity off the back of it."

"It's planting seeds in a garden that you never get to see," he said, quoting a line from the musical Hamilton.

Former transport minister Andrew Constance also farewelled state parliament on Wednesday, after more than 18 years.

Reforms to disability services and the government's response to the black summer bushfires, which almost razed Mr Constance's own home, are among his proudest achievements, he said.

The member for Bega, who is leaving state parliament to run for the federal seat of Gilmore, thanked colleagues and mentors who supported him during "troubling times".

"Wouldn't matter if it was the bad naming of a ferry or if it's a train that can't fit down a tunnel - they're always there," he quipped, referencing scandals during his stewardship of the transport department.

Mr Constance said the state was in good hands, thanks to his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but couldn't resist one last dig at Labor MPs.

"Individually, you're all great people. Collectively, you're terrible," he said.

Both men apologised to their families, conceding they had suffered as a result of their time as MPs, and paid tribute to former premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Mr Barilaro declared her "the best premier of this state" and someone of integrity, intellect and passion.

While proud to have entered parliament alongside Ms Berejiklian in 2003, Mr Constance said it was a "great shame" he was also leaving the parliament at the same time.

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