Winter has well and truly arrived in our Shire within the past week, with a dusting of snow on Mount Kaputar and very low evening (and daytime) temperatures as well.
I am hoping that all residents are staying warm and healthy, amid the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases within Victoria, and also several metropolitan cases in NSW as well.
Now is certainly not the time to relax ‘winter’ hygiene protocols, with staying at home if you have a cold – don’t attend workplaces or shopping areas to spread the symptoms.
Making sure you continue to wash your hands and remember to physical-distance yourself when out and about, just to maintain the COVID-Free status that we have had to date.
This pandemic is far from over, and if we continue to maintain our own health and hygiene habits, we can certainly all do our part to stop the spread and reduce any ‘general’ coughs and colds, let alone anything potentially more harmful.
Last week the North West region received the unfortunate announcement that ‘Ag Quip’ has been cancelled for 2020.
Originally due to COVID-19, the agricultural field days usually held in August each year, were postponed until November 2020.
However, due to the ongoing uncertainty of continued COVID-19 restrictions, and consultation with public health authorities, police and emergency services, and also tourism government and private service providers, it was declared on July 14 (still 4 months out from the rescheduled event) that the event would be cancelled for 2020.
This cancellation is seen as a huge blow to not only the immediate Gunnedah Shire businesses, but also surrounding Shire amenities, including motels, pubs/clubs and restaurants as overflow income opportunities.
Not only these businesses are affected, but ultimately the targeted industry attendees of agricultural producers, manufacturers and processors that heavily rely on attending these field days annually, within a business capacity, reviewing new products, innovations and talking to peak body associations within the industry, and more often than not – a social day out to meet up with friends and neighbours.
Ag Quip has seen well over 100,000 visitors, exhibitors and spectators attend each year, and in particular with the drought slightly loosening the grip that it has tightly held over the past five years, it would have been a great opportunity to start planning for the years ahead, looking at new technologies and creating a positive thought-process on moving forward.
Unfortunately, this is one of many localised events that has been impacted so far this year, and may not be the last, which is a very sad reflection on 2020, to date.
Finally this week I would like to congratulate the local sporting groups and their respective committee members on re-commencing their winter competitions recently – albeit still in a semi-restricted manner, due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Such clubs include the local Narrabri and Wee Waa Bowling Clubs – returning to their weekly competitions, and also Narrabri junior and senior team soccer competitions that recently re-commenced over the weekend, and also Narrabri District Tennis Club on their two-day tournament– which attracted many North West players for Saturday and Sunday.
It is great to see these clubs take the initiative and organise albeit ‘shortened’ competitions and tournaments to allow sporting members of all ages to re-gather after the pandemic locked-down many of these ‘seasonal’ community events, leaving many clubs unable to take up the option of a ‘minimised’ season.
Congratulations and well done to these above mentioned clubs, and we also hope that the coming Summer competitions and schedules are able to recommence and resume their anticipated competitions within the Shire as well, good luck for their preparations.
Cr Cathy Redding, Narrabri Shire Council MayorTo order photos from this page click here