According to LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins OAM, as Christmas, New Year and school holidays approach, many people will be looking forward to and hoping the festive season presents an opportunity to relax, enjoy time off and celebrate with close family and friends.
“2020 will go down in history as one of our toughest years. Thankfully, we are a resilient community. We’re used to drought and floods, fluctuating commodity prices and at times the flow on effects of these on local businesses and employment. As one of the worst droughts in history reached a climax at Christmas time last year along with the impacts of bushfires with weeks of smoke filled skies, followed by flooding events and damage to infrastructure at the end of January few of us imagined that 2020 would throw a further spanner in the works in the form of COVID-19, which changed the way we live, work, learn, play and travel.
“Yet, we have been fortunate, things could have been far worse. Many parts of Australia have done it much harder than we have. We have remained COVID-19 clear but that does not mean we are immune to the risk of cases and until there is a vaccine we must remain diligent and maintain our self-discipline,” he said.
“In many ways. this past year has highlighted to me how fortunate we are to live where we do, in great communities with people who support one another and together help make the Liverpool Plains Shire one of the most liveable regions in Australia. Let’s continue to stare adversity in the eye and keep hope alive this Christmas. Yes, 2020 has been a tough year, but despite everything there have been many stories of hope. A great example is our volunteers who find another level when the going gets tough, or there are people in need. Your efforts throughout 2020 are greatly appreciated you are such an important ingredient in what makes the LPS a great place to live, work and play,” he continued.
“This Christmas consider those who are less fortunate and think of those who may be in need of some extra support. While it can be an enjoyable time for some, it can also present real challenges for others, so remember the compassion Australians are famous for and check in on a neighbour, say g’day to the farmer, and look out for those who may need a kind word or a helping hand.
“I’d be remiss not to thank LPSC’s Management team and staff who have gone far and above the call of duty in 2020. They adapted to COVID-19 restrictions to, where possible, maintain services, and importantly, successfully applied for millions of dollars of grant funding for projects that provide stimulus for the local economy, a boost to local employment opportunities and a roll out of infrastructure projects that will benefit the community in the years ahead.
“I look forward to a New Year full of opportunities, helping deliver Council’s projects and works program, and welcome one of the best seasons our agricultural sector have experienced in a number of years. Every dark cloud has a silver lining and gives us more reason for hope.
“Speaking of hope, I recently read this story that reminded me the past 10 months has impacted people of all ages, but the spirit of Christmas provides hope and a message for all of us,” he said.
In an early Christmas message, as he answers post sent in from around the world, Santa responded to a little boy called David who was worried the festive season would be postponed this year.
The jolly St Nicholas reassured the youngster that Christmas would not be cancelled but to remember, “one of the most important wonderful aspects of Christmas is spending time together” while one of Santa’s helpful elf reminds us all that we should do so while following relevant public health guidelines.
“We are all looking forward to a brighter, healthier 2021. Let’s make the next few weeks a magic time for all. Take care on the roads when travelling, remember to Slip! Slop! Slap! Stay safe around water and share the love and caring we all need.
“I hope everyone in the LPS Shire enjoys the Christmas/New Year holiday period and on behalf of my fellow Councillors, Council staff and my family and I, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year. Take care and best wishes,” Councillor Hawkins concluded.