As 2017 draws to a close I am very glad to have the opportunity to wish you, your families and your loved ones a joyous festive season.
There is no denying it has been another big year but it has been my privilege to represent you and your interests both locally and in Canberra.
I also want to acknowledge this incredibly hard working community for all it has done over the past 12 months to support our families and to make this region – which is already the greatest in Australia – even better.
True community champions are not hard to find here in Forde.
They make up our hard-working community groups and charities; our schools and local businesses – all of which work together so well for the good of our region.
We were tested in 2017.
The flooding rains brought about by ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie in March literally washed us away.
But even that hardship could not dampen this community’s spirit.
Thank you – in the strongest terms – to everyone who joined the recovery and clean-up efforts.
Thank you – again – to our heroic emergency services workers for going above and beyond the call of duty and putting yourselves in harm’s way to save the lives of others.
And thank you to the wider community for your unwavering patience as our local councils worked to re-open roads and infrastructure as quickly as possible.
I hope 2018 brings success and happiness for all of you.
Bert van Manen MP, Federal Member for Forde.