Thursday, 21 December 2023
AS another year draws to a close, let us pause and take stock for a moment this Christmas season to celebrate and give thanks for the love and friendship of those, near or far, who we hold dear.
There will be those of us who won’t have the luxury of a break though, instead they will continue to work hard serving our communities. Spare a thought over Christmas for our wonderful emergency service personnel – police, firefighters, ambulance paramedics, nurses, doctors, SES volunteers – as well as hospitality and retail workers and many others working to keep us safe and comfortable.
In the last few months, our incredible firefighters have battled more 250 individual fires in our region and dozens are still burning and threatening property and people. I ask that we all keep them and their families in our thoughts over the coming weeks.
As we gather with our loved ones, let us also spare a thought for those doing it tough and those facing a lonely Christmas and remember the true message of Christmas – humility and generosity towards one another. It is a hard time for many across the Northern Tablelands with the cost-of-living pressures on the rise, putting the squeeze on many families and households. Reach out to those around you and share the spirit of the season.
If you’re like me and still have a lot of Christmas shopping to do, please buy local. This time of year provides us all with a great opportunity to provide an important boost to our local small businesses.
It has been another incredibly busy and productive year throughout the Northern Tablelands and I’ve again enjoyed working with all our local communities on many projects and issues and had the pleasure of meeting so many selfless people who are making such a strong contribution to our wonderful region.
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 just as challenging. I’m really looking forward to it!
My staff joins with me in wishing all Northern Tablelands residents a joyous and peaceful Christmas and a safe, prosperous and wet 2024.