As we approach the end of 2017 I would like to take this opportunity to wish the residents of the Coffs Harbour electorate a joyous and peaceful Christmas.
With an influx of visitors to our region at this time of the year, I urge those who are travelling on the roads to take extra care and be respectful of other motorists. Many people holidaying here, or passing through the area, are unfamiliar with local road conditions and extra care needs to be taken.
The Coffs Coast celebrated in spectacular style the return of the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia – increases in ticket sales and spectator numbers, full accommodation houses and our warm hospitality, all helped the rally’s huge success. This prestigious international motor sport event is a great opportunity to showcase our uniquely beautiful area to the world and I look forward to the event returning to the Coffs Coast next year.
The eyes of the world were on us again when Deputy Premier John Barilaro and I announced Coffs Harbour will next year host two major international women’s golf events. The Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville has been secured for the Bonville course for the next five years, while Coffs Harbour Golf Club will have the Women’s NSW Open in 2018. Over the next five years, more than 16,000 domestic and international visitors are expected to travel to these events, injecting approximately $8 million into the NSW visitor economy.
It was my great pleasure to announce $300,000 in funding for 18 community projects under the 2017 Community Building Partnership program. This program aims to improve local infrastructure and many worthwhile projects received funding this year.
Retailers on the Coffs Coast are always extremely busy at this time of the year with an influx of visitors. There is a trend towards buying online but I would like to urge residents to support our local businesses this holiday season when purchasing goods and services.
It is the season for giving so this is the perfect time to let your local small business operators know that you appreciate what they bring to the community by purchasing locally. So shop at your local small business and help maintain business confidence in your local area.
I hope visitors to the area, and locals, take advantage of the warmer weather to visit local tourist attractions. This area has some fantastic natural attractions and don’t forget a visit to the surrounding villages such as Sawtell, Woolgoolga, Bellingen, Urunga, Coramba and Nana Glen. These places all host wonderful cafes and local crafts. And I highly recommend a trip to the magnificent Sealy Lookout.
If you are visiting the beach, remember to ‘Slip, Slop and Slap’, swim between the flags and listen to the local surf lifesavers. These volunteers, who give up a tremendous amount of their own time to patrol the beaches, are skilled in recognising rips and other dangers on the beaches. They do a terrific job and deserve our thanks and respect.
My wife Kerrie and I take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and a rewarding New Year. We hope you are able to spend quality time with your family and friends during the Christmas holidays.
My Electorate Office will be closed from Monday 25 December and will re-open on Monday, 8 January 2018.