Wednesday, 23 December 2020
As we near the end of a year like no other we’ve ever experienced – one many would like to forget – this Christmas I think it’s important all of us stops, takes stock of all we have and gives thanks for the love and friendship of those we hold dear.
The impact that COVID-19 has had on the lives of Northern Tablelands’ residents will be felt for a generation.
The restrictions and State border closures, which kept families and loved ones apart and brought business to a stand-still, have stretched rural and regional communities to breaking point, especially on top of two devastating disasters – drought and bushfires.
But just as we did during those difficult times, the people and communities of our region pulled together, supported each other and made sure nobody went without.
Just like the meaning of Christmas, coronavirus has forced us all to reconsider our values and question that which is most important. We have seen a return of the rural parochialism that once made country life so great; people checking in on their elderly neighbours, delivering groceries to friends and holidaying in their own back-yard.
I would encourage those who are leaving their Christmas food and present shopping to the last minute to please buy local. This festive season provides us all with a fantastic opportunity to help our local small businesses get ahead.
While Australia’s response to the pandemic has meant we can enjoy Christmas relatively safe from the virus, we must give thought to those countries who have not been so lucky. For thousands of families around the globe, Christmas 2020 will be a time of mourning, with an empty place setting a reminder of loved one tragically lost.
Yes, COVID-19 has been an extreme inconvenience but the fact we have the chance to tuck in to Christmas dinner with our families shows that the disruption was worth it.
After a year which threw almost every challenge imaginable at us, 2021 is brimming with so much potential.
The biggest thing I’m thankful for this year has been the enormous change and turnaround in seasonal conditions and the reprieve which has been delivered for our primary producers in the form of rain – and lots of it!
Consistent downpours over most of the region has provided an opportunity for the land to recover from fire and drought and it has been an absolute pleasure to see paddocks full of grass, fat stock and record prices at market once again.
In my mind the next 12 months will continue to be a period for growth. There are so many big opportunities on the horizon that will support local economies and industries to get back on their feet post pandemic.
I personally am excited by what is to come, but am also looking forward to a little break to recharge the batteries, as we all should after this year.
My staff joins with me in wishing all Northern Tablelands residents a joyous and peaceful Christmas and a safe, prosperous and wet 2021.
MEDIA: Kris Wall 0447 432 392