As we head into the Christmas season and towards 2020, I know the greatest Christmas gift for the people of the Liverpool Plains Shire would be to wake up on Christmas morning to the sound of gentle, soaking rains on the roof, at the start of drought breaking falls. I'm sure many of us would feel all our Christmases had come at once.
The resilience of our community has been amazing during these tough times, but it takes its toll. There's a lot known about the economic and environmental impacts of drought but much less about the social impacts for the people most affected, the farm families, small business owners, and the wider community, right down to individuals who have lost their jobs or are battling to find enough work to support their families.
These things impact different people in different ways. The stoicism of rural folk is renowned, but everyone has their breaking point. Unfortunately, not everyone can or will seek help if they reach that point so this Christmas, I encourage everyone to look out for their family and friends and to ask RUOK?
Let's give thanks this Christmas for the kindness and generosity shown to our community during this drought by people from all over Australia. Special thanks to our sister city, Blacktown city, individuals, organisations and your city council, have forged a bond that we greatly cherish.
We must also give thanks for volunteers and organisations like the Quirindi branch CWA who have admirably administered a drought relief fund that has assisted farming families, local small businesses and others in our community negatively impacted by the drought. Along with many other local organisations and their volunteers, you foster cohesion and strengthen the fabric of our community.
Thanks also to all Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) staff. You have done a tremendous job for your community throughout 2019.
People of differing faiths and culture celebrate Christmas in various ways. However you celebrate, on behalf of my fellow councillors, council staff and my family, I wish each and every member of the community a safe, peaceful and merry Christmas and the best for 2020. Treasure those you love, be kind to others, take care on the roads and around water activities and don't forget to slip-slop-slap.
Andrew Hope, Mayor of LPSC.