THE Tenterfield Star has asked me to reflect on the year that was 2021 and touch on what might be in 2022.
COVID-19 travel restrictions, Public Health Orders and lockdowns again dominated our lives, particularly in border communities in Tenterfield Shire which rely heavily on our relationship with South East Queensland. As your State MP, I worked with other MPs in a bipartisan Cross-Border Taskforce to ensure the restoration of the border zone in the months prior to Queensland reopening its border. I advocated for the NSW Government's $10-million COVID-19 Recovery round of the Cross-Border Commissioner's Infrastructure Fund.
It has been an extremely difficult time for many locals and I have made strong representations to the NSW and QLD governments to assist individuals and families who have sought my help.
Despite the heaviness of COVID which has hung over us all, I continue to work with community groups, Tenterfield Shire Council, and State and Federal governments to land wins for the Birthplace of Federation and surrounding villages.
I successfully lobbied to secure two major road upgrades which will play a key role in opening up the many attractions, marketed under the world-class Tenterfield True campaign, to a bigger market of tourists over the next few years. Another success was a $960,000 grant to Tenterfield Shire Council to provide a water source and minor reticulation services for the villages of Drake, Liston, Legume and Torrington.
On the tourism front, I'm really excited about the momentum building behind the proposed Border Trail, a multi-use trail that will provide cycling and walking experiences as well as drive routes between Woodenbong and Tenterfield.
Another project in the mix is Angry Bulls Trail, which would involve constructing a 174-kilometre network of mountain bike track throughout the shire. This project would create 25 local jobs, bring 35,000 visitors each year and generate an extra $4.5 million in tourism annually.
Other highlights included success for the Lions Club of Tenterfield Incorporated's storage shed at Tenterfield Showground; Drury Lane Theatre Incorporated's new accessible bathroom and the Sporting Shooters Association's attendance recording system. I also helped secure a $6000 NSW Community War Memorials Fund grant for the Tenterfield RSL Sub-branch to restore one of the town's landmarks, the Boer War Memorial outside the Tenterfield and District Soldiers Memorial Hall.
Next year should start on a positive note with Tenterfield Shire Council's free Community Family Fun Day on Wednesday, January 26.
I'll keep rolling up my sleeves to make sure Tenterfield Shire residents are looked after and that we also get our fair share of state funding. - Janelle Saffin, State Member for Lismore
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