I think we can collectively enjoy a well-earned 'congratulations' for reaching the point we can all get out of lockdown, particularly in Western NSW where we have faced some significant challenges since early August.
It's also appropriate we take a moment to think of those in our community who sadly lost their life due to COVID-19, and those who became quite-ill after being infected.
Let's not forget the incredible frontline workers who live in our community, or came from other areas, and worked so hard to keep us safe, keep us well, and keep us on track to get vaccinated so we can enjoy the ability to get out of lockdown with the rest of the state on October 11.
You'll see many businesses across the region re-open and welcome customers back.
In doing so, each business, including council, is required under NSW Government Health Orders to operate in a COVID-safe way and meet the conditions placed on us as a community to ensure we keep those newfound freedoms during what is still an active pandemic.
We are all required to check in when entering premises, we are all required to show proof of vaccination, we are all required to do our part and maintain a safe distance and keep practicing good hygiene, and follow all COVID-safe instructions.
This is not only for our safety, but for the safety of those businesses who've endured so many challenges already.
Let's help them keep their doors open for business.
The message from the business community is clear - 'we want you back'.
They are saying 'we want you back' at our pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, retail shops, shopping centres, gyms and specialty stores.
And to keep us coming back without further restrictions, we need to keep doing our part.
Remember, be patient, kind and flexible when you're entering a business or being served.
When accessing council facilities and services, make sure you're fully aware of what you need to do; follow the instructions of our helpful staff who are there to assist you, be mindful of the information signage and sanitisation facilities at our venues - it is there to keep you, the community and our staff safe.
To see what council facilities are open and what you need to know, please visit council's website www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au for the latest details.
Importantly, enjoy the ability to move around more freely now we're out of lockdown.
We've all worked very hard to get here.