The eternal optimist in me would like to think that after years of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 we, as a society, may be given a break in 2021.
But the realist in me suggests there will be issues that present themselves this year that will test us.
Despite everything we have been through in recent years, everyone across our region has shown an incredible ability to roll with the punches and bounce back, which gives me a great feeling of hope and pride heading into the New Year.
Every day we get one step closer to beating COVID-19, and from a societal perspective, that should bring a degree of positivity.
While other countries continue to battle again the virus, Australia has been something of a world leader when it comes to its response, and NSW has led the nation.
From a local perspective, we have a lot to look forward to. The 2020/21 budget delivered funding for a drug rehabilitation centre in our region, as well as early work on an additional 350 car parking spaces at Dubbo Hospital.
These projects will have real impacts on people’s lives. The rehab centre is a step in the right direction when it comes to combating the scourge of substance addiction and the associated antisocial behaviour that can stem from that.
During the 2019 election campaign I made a commitment to deliver the new parking at the hospital. The extra parking is very much needed as our city continues to grow as the medical services hub for the western region. I’m proud to say that will happen, with work due to start early this year.
Work is also continuing on the Multi-Indoor sports hub project in North Dubbo, while Narromine’s aviation and industrial precinct continues to grow.
The sports hub is an important cog to the growing health and wellbeing precinct in the city, and will deliver first class facilities for a range of sports as well as the local PCYC.
Narromine has already attracted ‘flying car’ manufacturer AMSL Aero, and its footprint in the industrial technology sector will continue to grow as a result.
This government has made a real commitment to the regions, and we’re only just beginning. Our part of the world has great potential and we will continue on a path to fulfilling that potential in 2021.