2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. COVID -19 has ravaged communities around the world, placing pressure on health systems and devastating economies.

Like you, I am in awe of the courage and commitment shown by our health workers battling this virus, saving lives every day. We are all immensely grateful and extend our deep appreciation for putting their lives on the line to save others.

I know it’s tough – but for now, staying at home is critical to stopping the spread of this deadly virus. It’s the least we can do to respect our health workers and others on the front line. Doing the right thing, practicing good hygiene, wearing our masks and keeping our distance is the best way we can say thanks to those valuable workers.

The economic consequences to national, state and local communities of staying at home are severe. Nowhere in Australia is the impact being felt harder than right here in Gippsland. But we Gippslanders are resilient – our history has demonstrated that over and over again.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t hurting.  We are.

Businesses that have been years in the making are struggling to survive. People who have never been out of work suddenly know what it’s like. More than ever, we need to spend our money locally – right here, in our community. And we need to look out for each other. We need to ask our family, our friends, our neighbours: “Are you ok, is there anything I can do to help?”

Together we will get through this. You’ve stayed the course so far brilliantly. I have every faith that the toughness and strength you’ve all shown so far will carry you through the rest of this difficult time.

If there’s anything you need, my electorate office is here for you, as always.