I'm devastated to see our community go through hardship once again. The last few weeks have been really tough and we're all doing our best to deal with the devastation that the floods brought to our region.
I've met many people who have lost not just their homes, but their possessions, and important mementos that are not able to be replaced.
And it is these people who not only turned up looking for assistance at the evacuation centres, they got on and provided assistance to others.
As soon as the skies were blue and I was able to get out, I headed down to North Haven to help with the massive clean-up job. I was moved to work alongside community members, business people, volunteers, and anyone able to help support those affected.
But I was also aware we were just at the tip of a very long term clean-up in some of our communities.
While I've met many putting on a brave face, I know behind the smiles is shock, bewilderment and pain. No experience was more humbling, inspiring, and upsetting then helping the North Haven community load trucks and bobcats with their possessions and the remnants of their lives.
I thank all those who helped support these community members, so they can move forwards into the future.
It will take months and years to recover from this tragedy, but we're stronger and more resilient than most, as we've proven again and again.
We are blessed to have a community that is willing to work together, and I'm endlessly proud to call the Port Macquarie-Hastings region home.
Our council is committed to do all it can to help our community through our recovery and healing, and it is our utmost priority to put the well-being of each of our residents at the forefront of our minds in every decision that we make.
There's still a lot of work to be done, but I am ready, our council is prepared, our community is willing, and there is support available. I know we'll heal once again with the support of each and every member of our amazing community.