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Council Column – 25 January 2021 – Councillor Rita O’Connor

Jan 25, 2021

As we prepare to celebrate Australia Day 2021, we reflect on how our Hilltops story connects each of us. How fortunate we have been in the past months to receive drought-breaking rain, harvest record crops and be relatively untouched by the COVID pandemic that has killed over 2 million people. The theme of this year’s Australia Day is Reflect, Respect, Celebrate; which is apt for the year that has been.

At this time, we especially think of our elderly in the midst of turmoil with the impending closure of the Southern Cross Care/ St Lawrence home in Harden. This will have a profound effect, not only on the 35 residents who have been touted to be relocated, but the wider community in general. People will lose jobs, some families will undoubtedly need to relocate, affecting other services – schools, medical, retail etc. As a community we need to work together to find a solution to the problem and reassure the residents that an improved outcome can be found for them.

Harden-Murrumburrah has had a busy start to the year. Harden Regional Development Corporation (HRDC) has opened a laundromat, between IGA and the HRDC office. This is a fantastic community service, open 24 hours a day, with large capacity machines that fit doonas and quilts. Both washing machines and dryers are very economically priced and simple to use.

As you drive from Harden to Murrumburrah, the new vivid colours of the flour mill rise above the roadside. The painting of the mill, followed by the installation of war horse, Bill the Bastard, and the commencement of the Murrimboola Creek beautification will bring Murrumburrah alive with activity. These will finalise the Murrumburrah Precinct development and will certainly bring a tourism rise to the community.

I wish everyone a healthy start to 2021.

Councillor Rita O’Connor