I picked up a good friend from Melbourne at the Sunshine Coast Airport yesterday, and I know that I am not alone in welcoming interstate friends and family to the Sunny Coast at Christmas time. When I asked my friend how the flight was, she replied ‘confronting’. My first thoughts were of the standard elbows in the ribs, passenger body odour, and luggage issues. Not so! From the moment Emma took off in Melbourne to the moment she landed on the Sunny Coast, she flew above a blanket of horrific bushfires, smoke and haze. This was no isolated incident… this was the effect of prolonged drought and extreme heat. This was the whole country in flames!! And then, leaving the airport, we drove through the thick smoke of the latest Peregian Springs fire. Confronting indeed.
There is no doubt that the massive ongoing effort of our fire department and volunteers has saved hundreds of lives and properties. You are superheroes without a cape, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do to protect our community!
Whether or not you have been directly affected by fire or are just living like the rest of us under a state of hyper vigilance and ‘fight or flight’ readiness… we are all feeling this in many ways. The economic impact alone has challenged many communities, and local businesses are having a real struggle with the heat and smoke haze.
So, what can we do to help? Simple… support local business! People are already rejecting the notion of a highly commercialized Christmas. We are over the plastic problem. Statistics show that people are increasingly preferring gifts of sentimental significance, home-made gifts, gifts of an experience, or something personalized and thoughtful. These are things regional small businesses offer. And what these drought and fire ravaged communities really need this Christmas is the gift of hope. Now more than ever, your support of local small business is life changing.
Suncorp’s Head of Agribusiness, April Cavanagh, said “Every dollar a regional business or farmer receives, the surrounding town will profit a $1.32 through further spending in the region. Your support for one business owner will ultimately support the town as well.”
Tis the season to be grateful and giving. Spend your Christmas dollars thoughtfully and help our communities bounce. We invite you to come and enjoy the cool lake breezes and views while you have a meal at our Dining on the Deck daytime restaurant. Buy your loved one a gift voucher to escape the heat in our world-class luxury treehouses. Take a day trip away from the coast and cities with an adventure to our hinterland hills and support Montville’s boutique shops and small businesses. Help us give back to our community.
And from the Secrets on the Lake staff and family, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas and New Year 2020 with your loved ones!