Dear Friends and neighbours,
Thank you all so much for supporting this newspaper and showing there is a need and appreciation for independent honest journalism.
Thank you for your donations and feedback. For your letters and emails of support. And for your information, tips, and suggestions, criticism and praise.
We are living in unstable and worrying times. Our fragile land is under threat from climate change, political and corporate rape and greed. Our industries and agriculture, our landscape, cities and towns, our resources – especially water – are under siege.
Let us pause to reflect not only on what used to be, and what is happening around us; with mining on pristine land and farming communities, the insanity of re-igniting coal fired power stations, the giving away our water, free to the likes of Adani, mining companies and water bottling companies under archaic laws, and the proliferation of fracking licences that damage water tables.
Our regional towns and land, especially in scenic tourism areas, are being infected with ugly, sterile, cheek by jowl, so called “lifestyle” cookie-cutter cheaply built houses, which serve to devalue the unfortunate areas in which they are crammed. The landscape is denuded, the wildlife gone.
Most of us are here because we want to be. We grew up here. We’ve come back here to retire. We’ve fled the city madness and found this slower, peaceful, healthier, friendly place to settle. To be with family. To start out as newlyweds.
There’s a lot going for us in regional towns. And there’s a lot wrong too. We whinge about services, conveniences, our council, our State government. Often with good cause. But we know we wouldn’t live anywhere else.
What we can do, is get involved. Reach out to friends and neighbours. How inspiring were all those schoolkids, striking from school to protest climate change! They see what their future might be and they don’t like it. We can change things by speaking out, making our views heard and helping where we can.
I can tell you, it’s a damned good feeling to stand up and be counted. To be able to participate in a democracy. What do they say? “Use it or lose it.” We will lose a lot more than we ever imagined if we don’t use our voices in whatever way we can.
This paper can be your voice, too. We reach a lot of people, far and wide, out on farms, in the hills, in highrises, at the beaches, in towns, villages and farms. We are also read in city corporate HQs, government offices and by influential media, movers and shakers.
So say your piece. This is our country. We owe it to ourselves and each other to care.
And while you’re out and about, say hello to a stranger, a newcomer or someone on their own. It’s that time of year, where you just might make a friend for life. Treasure your family.
Warmest wishes for the festive season and the coming year.
Di Morrissey. Editor.