Dear Editor,

As the year comes to a close and we gear up for Christmas I’d like to take the opportunity to wish all your readers a very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Christ and his message of peace and goodwill. And while many of us celebrate with gifts under the tree the most special gift of all is the time spent with family and friends over the holiday period. This is the true magic of Christmas, a time to stop and reflect on those we hold dear.

Enjoy this time and remember to reach out to those who may need a little extra care this Christmas, particularly if they are older, live on their own or are going through a rough patch. Take the time to reach out and pass on the Christmas message.

The Christmas/New Year period is also a busy time of year on our roads but if we all do our bit to pay extra attention and drive to the conditions we can contribute to a safer journey for all road users.

This year has been particularly tough for our regional communities in drought. Not just the farmers but the local towns and businesses in those areas. This Christmas we can all do our bit by donating to one of the many charities, or by buying gifts from a small business in a drought affected region.

Finally, please spare a thought for our Australian Defence Force personnel deployed overseas ensuring our nation remains safe and secure this Christmas, as well as those battling the devastating fires in NSW and elsewhere.

Merry Christmas

Tony Pasin MP

Member for Barker