It is AgQuip week in Gunnedah – the week when the eyes of the agricultural world are fixed firmly on our own shire.

For three days, the AgQuip site hosts tens of thousands of exhibitors and visitors, with more than 3000 products and services on show, including everything from the latest in massive machinery to health services and home-made scones.

Gunnedah is not only the birthplace of AgQuip, but it is an integral part of its success story.

The organisation of the event, once carried out by a visionary small group, is now the domain of ACM Rural Events, but everywhere you look at AgQuip you see the faces of our community.

There are the volunteers at the CWA and some of our other great service organisations, the Gunnedah Rural Museum has its demonstrations going and a great display of heritage tractors, there are emergency services representatives, volunteers and a huge number of business and agricultural representatives.

The tradition of our shire being at the forefront of innovation is as strong as ever.

Our community whole-heartedly supports this huge event, from the AgQuip site itself, to the people who find accommodation for visitors, who feed and serve them, who help with a million myriad tasks behind the scenes.

Gunnedah shire is proud to remain a centre for innovation as we celebrate the 50th year of AgQuip. It is an event that will always be close to our hearts as it looks towards the future of agriculture.

Not such great news for our hard-working community was hearing that the NSW Police Minister and the NSW Regional Health Minister were in the neighbourhood but failed to stop in our shire.

Crime is at the forefront of our minds at the moment and we are in circumstances that very clearly call for 24-hour policing. We have seen a drastic increase in car theft and break-ins. And yet we do not rate a visit by the Police Minister.

One of our other greatest concerns is health care. Having lived through the terrible paucity of GPs in the time before and during the pandemic, our community is worried we could see a return to a situation where health care simply is not available. And we now face a future that will include a hospital with only a fraction of the services we were promised.

And yet no visit from the Regional Health Minister.

We live in a shire that contributes so much to our state. Our people work hard, and all of our families deserve the same access to safety and to healthcare as anyone who lives in Sydney.

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