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Editorial August 7th 2020

Welcome to this week’s editorial, What a week !!! And what a roller coaster of a life we are having. August already; however to many of us it seems like an eternity since last Christmas. The bushfires took an enormous toll on our spirits. First came the elation of summer and the expectation (and hope) that visitors would come and save us from our local recession. After two quarters of recession in the lead up to last summer the region was desperate for full beds, bums on café seats and solid employment for our normally under-employed. But the fires came, the smoke came, and the visitors that did come were sent home. A few weeks passed and we tried the reset button. “Bring Your Eskies”, “Love the Bay” - the Mayor even made an appearance, voice synching and dancing to a tune to tell Canberra how much we love them and asking them to come back. But that was so long ago and the summer we had was a financial fizzer. To add another layer to an already complex situation along came some local flooding that at least brought much needed rain to break the drought and to deliver moisture to bone dry forest. As a result the trees responded with new shoots that provided an element at least of hope to communicate that while they were horribly burnt they still had a pulse. Next came Covid-19. This nasty bug sent our lives in a total spin. Financially it heralded the demise of so many of our local businesses who did not have the luxury of a savings buffer to survive. Fortunately we are presently in a protective bubble that keeps us safe from the inevitable day where the supports that are in place, the legislations around mortgages, rents and employment all end and the Goldilocks period returns to ‘normal’. When that day comes we had best be prepared. Prepared with food for the poor, housing for the poor, medical support for the poor and jobs for the poor. When that day comes, locally, one in five of our working community will be unemployed with many more on social security. We will be the poor. Much like during the bushfires we will be underprepared and much like Covid we will be caught off guard. Maybe it is due time that we became proactive and prepare for what will be inevitable. Until next—lei

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