G’day Gunnedah and thank you again for supporting the Gunnedah Times. 

What a fortnight it’s been. The return of AgQuip has exceeded expectations, the good news keeps rolling for Gunnedah and I am thrilled to have an opportunity to reflect on the fortnight that has been in the great Gunnedah Times.

Warnings of wet weather could dampen the mood for the state’s largest agricultural field day and while we did get a shower on the Tuesday, the sun poked its head out for the remainder of the week, cutting through the cold winter chill and ensuring the success of our favourite annual event.

Two years of AqQuip’s cancellation was heartbreaking, not only for the Gunnedah community, but for farmers across the country who make the annual pilgrimage to Gunnedah to kick some tyres and spend a bit of money.

Reflecting on that week really impressed on me the significance the event holds for the social and mental health of our rural communities. 

Living in regional Australia often means isolation from neighbours and friends, but events like AgQuip bring us all together, keeping us connected and keeping regional people strong.

A lot of credit must go to Kate Nugent and the entire organising team who have been through two years of frustration and setbacks thanks to the pandemic. 

The event they pulled off last week was one of the best in memory and I sincerely thank them for their efforts.

Through the week, we had visits from several NSW government Ministers and members including the Deputy Premier Paul Toole, Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders, Member for the Upper Hunter Dave Layzell and of course, Gunnedah’s own Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

The Deputy Premier came bearing good news with the confirmation that two more Rural Crime Investigators would be allocated to the Oxley Police District, meaning that two of the officers would be permanently based out of Gunnedah.

The campaign for more police resources to the district has been strong and this couples with last month’s announcement of six more experienced officers for the district.

We are building a stronger police force to enhance community safety and stamp down on crime and the Deputy Premier has Gunnedah front of mind on every step of the way.

I look forward to working with him further to improve the lives of the people of Gunnedah through strong investments in the infrastructure and services the town needs.

As always, if there is anything I can do to assist, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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