Cr Penny Flynn: Challenging times make us grow

Here we are again, working from home, wearing masks, limited numbers of people in our pubs, restaurants and retail spaces.

As challenging as these are, they keep us safe. If you have not seen Dr Rob Grenfell’s presentation on the Coronavirus, I encourage you to do so. The presentation is available on the Horsham Rural City Council’s website and YouTube channel.

Not only our municipality, but the whole region, is trying to navigate this global pandemic, which we will be dealing with for some time yet.

As Councillors we face the task of setting the 2021/22 Budget, which is becoming a greater challenge because of the pandemic. As we have seen over the past 18 months, long-term plans can change in a matter of a few hours.

Our Council delivers about 80 programs for those who live in the municipality. This requires planning, preparation along with qualified and trained staff to facilitate the day to day programs, the capital works program as well as ensuring there is appropriate plant and equipment.

There is a very big challenge of competing with the other nine regional cities across the state. We need to be a regional city that is competitive, welcoming, attractive and sustainable.

Why are people going to make the decision to move to Horsham Rural City? One of the biggest challenges is attracting and retaining the staff qualified to the many job vacancies across a variety of industries.

The second would be the access to housing. Affordable housing across the whole market from entry level to executive level. We also want investment in our city.

In recent weeks there will be people in our community who will have lost shifts which means loss of income and business who could not open their door so have lost revenue.

There are many ways we can support our local community. We can thank our local businesses when making a purchase and acknowledging all the Covid safe measures they have in place along with ensuring we have registered with the QR code.

We have many and varied organisations who can assist those in our community who are struggling financially due to the recent lockdown. One of those organisations is Christian Emergency Food Centre, they ensure no one goes hungry with care and compassion.

Please support our businesses and support agencies if you are able to.

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