Christmas is a time to reflect and celebrate what we have all achieved throughout the year.
It is a time for family, for friends, for relaxing and rejuvenation.
It is also a time to look forward, and as we enter the new year we enter a new phase with ongoing work at the concrete batching plant, the establishment of the hydroponic farm and the final stages of the new retirement facility.
The opportunities for employment and investment have never seemed so strong.
Benalla Rural City Council has started the establishment of project working groups for the Splash Park, Equestrian Centre (Raise the Roof) and the Arundel St Benalla Ovals Sports Facility, with the likelihood of all projects starting next year.
Within the council, we await the start of our new chief executive officer and we acknowledge the enormous contribution Tony McIlroy has made to Benalla’s liveability and prosperity and to the sustainability and stability of the council.
Christmas is a time to reach out to the people in our community who may not have the company of family and friends, or who struggle to put food on the table or gifts under the tree.
It is also a time to express our gratitude to those who will spend Christmas away from the people they love because they are looking after others: those in our health and care services, our defence and emergency services and those who work with the vulnerable.
Wherever you are this Christmas, on behalf of the council I wish you joy and peace in this season of celebration, along with health and happiness in the year ahead. — Cr Scott Upston, Mayor, Benalla Rural City Council