Thursday, 15 December 2015

ANOTHER year has almost passed and it’s amazing how quickly the time has gone by. Christmas and the holiday season serve as an opportunity to pause and to reflect on the year’s activities and achievements and to celebrate the festivities with family and friends.

Christmas is also a time of peace and goodwill, when the spiritual and cultural messages stand tall. We are reminded of the true Christmas message of humility and generosity towards each other and the need to extend this message to all. As we join together with our loved ones shortly, let us also spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves.

It has been another busy and productive year throughout the Northern Tablelands and I’ve again enjoyed working with our local communities on many projects and issues and have met numerous volunteers who are making such a strong contribution.

Some of the landmark anniversaries and records of service are quite remarkable. The quiet achievers in our area who have given more than 40 years to the Rural Fire Service or their local Hospital Auxiliary, for instance, and so many other volunteers in other organisations who have achieved similar records. They show great generosity of spirit and are major contributors to our quality of life here in the country.

On the back of recent rains, a bumper harvest in many areas and strong cattle, sheep and grain prices our rural community has experienced a turnaround in fortunes from this time last year. Despite this, as the weather warms up, everyone is looking to the skies hoping for soaking rain over the Christmas period.

Looking ahead, there is much to be excited about with many more opportunities to enrich our region – but it won’t always be easy. Next year is set to be bigger, busier and more challenging. I’m really looking forward to it!

My staff join with me in wishing all Northern Tablelands residents a joyous and peaceful Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2017.

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