Welcome to 2020! A year that will go down in the history books for the disastrous fires and the extreme weather conditions impacting our beautiful country.
Locally we have so far escaped from most of the fire activity with some local impacts reported on Mangrove and Somersby Plateau and Mount White areas. Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbouring regions to the north and the south who have certainly experienced the impact of this natural disaster situation. Of course, there is no room for complacency. Complacency has the potential to deliver consequences. Consequences we want to work to avoid. I urge you all to stay alert to what is happening around you.
New Year Eve events across the Central Coast were impacted by the severe weather events. The races at Gosford on NYE were abandoned as the temperature reached 42.5 degrees. Animal welfare had to be considered and racing stewards made the call to stop the meeting. Sadly, the fireworks event for the Gosford waterfront and The Entrance were also cancelled. Whilst this was disappointing, it was the only responsible course of action available to Central Coast Council. I know the Mayor was reluctant to have the cancellation especially at the 11th hour however it was the right decision. The weather was just too unpredictable, and the risk was just far to great. To remember the disappointment of the event not going ahead is better than being remembered for some type of tragic or catastrophic act which resulted from the event. The risk to life and property was assessed and the result was the final decision not to proceed.
We really are in unchartered conditions across the state and in fact, the nation right now. We see the defence force called upon to assist in a natural disaster situation. Our fire services have been tested and whilst losses of life and property have tragically occurred, I think we all agree our fire services and rural fire services have worked tirelessly and continue to do so to the best of their resources and abilities. They are amazing. We take our hats off to all involved in these services.
Whilst we are thinking about the support services, let's not forget the Police, Ambulance, SES Volunteers and medical staff in all areas who have been caring for, assisting and keeping safe our fellow Australians. And thank you. Many of you have done things like donate time, goods and services for those in need. Right down to the local volunteers who "went bush" recently to put out food and water for wildlife and birds who have lost their homes and food / water sources. It really is at times like this that I, like many of you, are proud to be an Australian. THANK YOU ALL.
I hope that soon we can come back to you with more positive news. Talk about the good things for 2020 but right now our wish for you all from the Chamber team is to stay safe, work together and lets all get though the current events and hopefully we will all be able to move forward.