Happy New Year. I hope you and your family enjoyed Christmas and the New Year and that 2019 is shaping as a good one for the people you care about.

Pre-Christmas, I wrote that we were banging on about the same issues that have been plaguing us for years – traffic, infrastructure, growth, medical issues, police numbers, gangs.

What if we all decided to focus on one thing and try and make an impact in 2019?

It might be to contact your ward councillor to get a pothole fixed in your street, or maybe send your local member a personal letter with an idea for better multicultural assimilation. What about volunteering for meals on wheels, school crossing guard duty or your local sports club?

We need to adjust the mindset of our entire community from negative to positive, while continuing to be realistic.

Most things involve money but there are still a lot of things that can be achieved without spending a cent. Instead of just talking about change, let’s actually do something to affect our lives that will be of benefit to the entire community.

It appears to me that a lot of time is being spent making sure everyone has the right to this and that and just in case, let’s make sure there is access and everything else.

Today’s society spends too much time worrying that everyone is catered for and in doing so we have made simple tasks complex and filled our lives with layer upon layer of bureaucracy. Let’s keep it simple and just get it done.

My goal for 2019 is to do my best to change the way people perceive this city. The poo farm still hangs over our head but the biggest obstacle is getting people to stop and see what we have to offer. Admittedly, we need to be better at a lot of things, but what we have is still very impressive. Through my podcasts, columns, radio, TV and whatever other avenues I can use, I am going to encourage people to leave their preconceptions on the Geelong freeway and pop in for a look. What are you going to do? ■