OUR politicians have written in to wish everyone in the Clarence Valley a merry Christmas.
Here's what they had to say.
State MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis
LIKE everybody else, I have been really looking forward to Christmas because it's been a very challenging year, and I have been rushing to finalise correspondence and get those last-minute things finished.
It's been a tough year, not just in the Clarence electorate but all over Australia and the world.
The impacts of the GFC are noticeable on national economies around the world and we are not immune to these impacts in the Clarence Valley.
Jobs and cost of living pressures continue to worry most families and this was reinforced with the Grafton Jail restructure.
The Government did get it wrong with the jail decision, but I'm pleased they did listen to our cry for help and for the 75 public service jobs they have brought to Grafton.
Also, the Northern Rivers Jobs Plan has created jobs in the private sector in Clarence as well as throughout the Northern Rivers.
While 2013 will continue to be challenging for families and businesses in the Clarence, we are fortunate in that we live in one of the best parts of Australia and we enjoy a real sense of community.
Yes we will face coal seam gas issues, but I'm confident the policies and regulations implemented by the Government will result in a practical compromise being achieved.
There will still be concern over the strength of our local economy and job security, but we can take heart from the fact that unemployment has remained low and that there are jobs available.
The Christmas season is a time for families to come together and enjoy one of the most important events on the Christian calendar, the birth of Christ.
My wife Vicki and I wish all locals a merry Christmas and happy New Year.
Please stay safe on the roads and in the water.
Clarence Mayor Richie Williamson
IT'S that time of year when we all take a moment to reflect on the year past and spend time with family and friends to recharge the batteries for the year ahead.
At this time of year my thoughts are with my family and friends, those less fortunate in our community, and those who have again selflessly volunteered in our community.
These volunteers continue to make our Valley a better place to live.
It appears we are looking at ending the year with a very real possibility of a bad fire season ahead.
To those in the emergency services, a special thank you for your work over the last year.
I hope you also have the opportunity to spend this special time with your family and friends.
It's shaping up to be an exciting year in 2013.
No doubt there will be challenges ahead, but we will overcome them together.
Major projects throughout the Clarence Valley will start, continue or be completed in 2013.
Projects include the Iluka sewage scheme, the Yamba Community Health Centre and the Maclean riverfront precinct plan.
Early in the new year, the redevelopment of Cameron Park will start, as well as the construction of the new Sir Earle Page Library and Education Centre in Grafton.
On behalf of all councillors, management and staff, I wish all our residents, ratepayers and visitors a happy and safe holiday period.
I hope you all enjoy all our beautiful Valley has to offer and I look forward to a prosperous new year.
Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin
IT HAS has been a big year in 2012.
I end it as a parliamentary deputy whip with more responsibilities and my speaking record intact!
I have worked hard to ensure that our electorate was strongly represented in Canberra and locally, and wrap up my year's work very satisfied with my local achievements.
There are more for 2013 that I have already underway.
My staff have been wonderful, working hard to make sure more things get done.
Some significant highlights include the Grafton Base Hospital redevelopment, getting funding for the Yamba Community Health Centre (federal and state), the Medicare-rebatable MRI machine at Clarence Valley Imaging and that the Grafton Regional Library is set to go.
The Pacific Hwy Devils Pulpit work proceeding apace and planning happening for the upgrade from Woolgoolga to Ballina, despite the argy-bargy.
I have opened school halls, libraries and classrooms.
Children's comments are priceless - more room to play and learn and bigger toilets.
The principals, teachers, staff, parents and businesses say - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our kids' education and local economy.
I shall redouble my efforts to say no to CSG mining. It does not bring the numbers of jobs that industry claims.
We need jobs, but not when they harm our health, destroy our farming land, our water.
Thanks to The Daily Examiner for being a strong community voice during the gutting of Grafton Jail and the Telstra and abattoir closures.
I am close to announcing an Economic Development Strategy to protect local jobs and create job opportunities in the Clarence Valley.
I wish the peace and goodwill of Christmas to all.
To contact me, phone me on 0418 664 001.