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A summer message from Kristy McBain, Federal member for Eden Monaro

The summer holidays are here already! After the year we’ve all had, this important break takes on new significance.

I think it’s fair to say that most people feel like they didn’t have a holiday last summer. Bushfires forced thousands of visitors to leave, while residents dug in to face the unfolding crisis at our front door.

Floods and COVID-19 followed, only adding to the emotional, environmental and financial distress in our community.

This summer presents an opportunity to recharge, renew and reconnect following the challenges of 2020.

If you are choosing to holiday here for the first time or the 100th time – thank you and welcome.

You have chosen the most amazing community to share this time with and the most diverse and thrilling landscape.

Your support of this community goes a long way in creating the renewal and regrowth we are working towards.

I have no doubt you will be richly rewarded, not just by the activities, local products and services and the environment – but by the smiles from business owners and residents.

For some, the first anniversary of our Black Summer will elicit painful memories.

Every person you meet will have their own individual story and experience from this time; you do too perhaps. This has been a year that has touched us all.

One of the hallmarks of 2020 has been the empathy we have shown each other; that time, warmth and respect is something we need to be extra mindful of as summer builds and anniversaries approach.

Some people are still living in challenging circumstances and you may be shocked by some of the damage and destruction that remains. Please respect people’s privacy as you travel our region.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, Australians have worked hard to allow us as many freedoms as possible ahead of this holiday period. That is something we can all be immensely proud of.

It’s important to maintain all the healthy practises that have become part of our life in 2020 – hand hygiene, physical distancing and remembering to register your details at venues.

We have laughed during 2020 about wanting to reboot this year – I hope this break provides the chance to do that and set yourself and those around you up for a happy and healthy 2021. Kristy McBain

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