THIS IS the last Whitsunday News newspaper for the year and, thus, the last column.
So, I will start by saying thank you, dear reader, for buying this paper throughout 2023.
We are a small team, who work very hard, and we do it all for our readers, without whom there is no point in doing what we do!
I’d also like to thank our loyal advertisers, who share our vision for a local newspaper and its power to reach the community, and of course our distributors, for getting every issue into your hands.
It has been a funny year for most of us with war breaking out in Israel and Gaza, and war still going on in Ukraine.
With so much suffering, it’s hard to really enjoy all that we have in this country and, particularly, in the Whitsundays.
But try we must, otherwise, what’s the point of living!
As the year closes, our thoughts are with Far North Queensland, as they struggle with dangerous floodwaters, right before Christmas.
While in NSW, bushfires are raging at the same time. We certainly do live in a ‘…sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains’.
Looking ahead to 2024, it’s an exciting year locally and for the state, with a Whitsunday Regional Council election, in March, and also a state election (date yet to be called – the last one was in October 2020).
It will be interesting to see if new Queensland Premier Steven Miles holds onto his captaincy.
I hope whatever you are doing, it is an opportunity for you to relax and enjoy the basics in life – great food, family, friends, love and acceptance.
It is a time for us to remember how lucky we are, compared to so many countries in the world, despite our own worries and setbacks (and we all have them).
And, of course, I hope you have a very merry New Year’s Eve and arrive into 2024 in a good place.
We will be back on Wednesday, January 10, 2024.
As always, thanks for reading this newspaper.