This has been a year of contrast and challenge for those who have come face to face with the harsh reality of what this country can throw at us.
My thoughts revolve around those who have been caught in the crosshairs of flood, fire and drought in 2019 and how we as a nation have responded to the challenges of supporting and assisting those who have been adversely affected and helping to find that starting point within the recovery process.
Australia in general has always been a generous nation and in 2019 the bush has had to lean hard on that generosity.
Federal government assistance has been unprecedented, local government leadership has been unparallel and people from all walks of life have dug deep in their efforts to assist the recovery phase.
It's a phase that is going to take a long time and tolerance and compassion must remain at the forefront for those who have been affected.
Whilst drought continues across a large portion of Queensland it has been eight months since the flood event in north west Queensland.
This signals a concerning period where the energy of the support process tends to plateau out at a time when grazing businesses await much-needed rainfall relief.
All support agencies need to be acutely aware of this time frame and remain vigilante and proactive in this space.
We need to acknowledge all of the great work that has happened thus far, not only from government agencies and the like, but also those who live and work in the areas hardest hit.
Neighbours, friends and family as well as complete strangers need to be recognised as the glue that holds the fabric of rural industry and regional communities together.
There are many steps yet to be taken on this road to recovery and it will take as long as it takes. But the burden of this process can and should be made easier if we all remain as proactive as we can be alongside those who are yet to find that starting point because of ongoing drought conditions.
For those picking up the pieces from the floods there is still this ongoing commitment from all who hear and see your plight.
You can still lean on that commitment and this will help ensure your passion for your industry has only been dented not diminished.
- Barry Hughes, Gulf Cattleman's Association