As we head towards the end of the year, I hope it is a time that provides you with rest, relaxing with friends or family, or maybe just a short break to recharge before a new decade begins.

Led by the Prime Minister, much of our government’s focus during 2019 has been on the needs of rural Australia, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to support people experiencing hardship during the current dry.

As a land of droughts and flooding rains the 2000’s has been challenging, but we are used to hanging in there, and a new year always brings the promise of better times ahead.

In 2020 we will continue developing a range of free trade agreements across the Pacific and the world, which builds a strong economic base for our important and thriving export sector.

While wages, house and land prices have each been relatively static, they are still on the right side of the ledger. This tells me the fundamentals are there,

and after this bumpy patch we’ll have strong markets and better growth opportunities when conditions get closer to normal.

As I do each year, a special mention to our local police, emergency services and medical staff and who look after us over the summer. And if you are near a waterway, please be watchful over youngsters and alert visitors to the risks posed when swimming in local rivers, dams or creeks.

Our electorate offices will be closed between Christmas and New Year and reopening on Thursday 2 January – but we remain on-call for any critical issues or emergencies during this time.

Best wishes for a happy and safe Christmas and a wet New Year.