No resident will disagree that the Kangaroo Valley community has had a rugged 2½ years. Just when we thought we’d seen it all through searing drought and fires, Covid lockdowns and repeated flooding, we now have major roads linking us to the outside world which have collapsed with the saturation of the ‘unprecedented’ rains. Visitors are clearly finding that being unable to drive the usual routes between coast and Highlands is a big turnoff to coming to KV.
Visitor numbers have dramatically reduced, albeit with a little Easter reprieve. This is obvious to anyone crossing the main street – there is usually no traffic at all visible to the east … or to the west. Businesses in the village are really hurting! And after the previous couple of years you have to question whether some businesses can simply hang on until things improve.
Flashback: do you remember the heart-warming sight of people crowded around coffee shops, food shops and restaurants within a day or two of the fires? There was an enormous sense of community as people came together to hug and check on each other’s welfare and say a grateful ‘thank you’. Businesses operated through thick and thin to ensure the influx of firies, SES, other emergency workers, service providers and the community would not go hungry or miss their coffee. They were there for us – now it’s our turn!
Please think hard, really hard, about changing your usual buying habits… just for a while until through traffic is able to get back to something like normal.
Think about going over the mountain every two to three weeks rather than every week. Use the opportunity to go to local businesses…for bread, milk, pharmaceuticals, coffee, fuel, lunch, breakfast, dinner, gardening supplies and rural supplies. Perhaps invite your friends and family for a ‘support-KV’ visit; and buy your supplies here (KV bread, KV eggs, KV veggies…), local jams, honey and preserves, relishes. local olive products. Go out together for breakfast; the visitors might go gift shopping, visit the lolly shops, join them at the pub, go out for lunch or dinner, visit one of the bottle shops. Do some early Christmas or birthday shopping. This is not an exhaustive list – be creative!
If all this seems too hard for some reason, consider the alternative. Imagine losing the pharmacy, your favourite coffee shop, bread shop, grocery, café-restaurant, gas station, or the shops that give KV its buzz and character. Surely we can all do our bit to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Thank you for listening, and supporting our amazing community in a time of real need!