It's been over two years since Premier Gladys Berejiklian called in to the Nambucca Valley. The last time she was here was to officiate the opening of the highway.
There wasn't as much pomp and circumstance today during her brief stopover in Macksville.
But there was a very welcome announcement of some funding for the Macksville Show Society to renovate the kitchen at the showground.
Members of the Show Ladies Auxiliary explained that the money will be used to replace the 25-year-old fridges, install a stove that can comfortably fit multiple pots at once, and level the floor so that cooking a hot meal stops being a constant battle with gravity.
"And really the new kitchen will pay for itself - once it's installed people will want to hire the hall for large functions, like they used to," Ladies Show Auxiliary member Elaine Ward said.
In addition to the funding announcement, members of the Valla Rural Fire Brigade were able to show off their brand new fully-automatic Category 1 tanker, complete with internally-operated spray devices, heat shields which drop to cloak the cabin, larger tank, and front monitor which enables the crew to fight a fire from inside the truck. The brand new top-of-the-line $350K model is one of only two in the district with these latest safety upgrades.
But it soon became clear that the purpose of today's visit was for the Premier to rub elbows with the people in our community who've quietly made a difference in all our lives, in their own unique ways.
Local Member Melinda Pavey proudly introduced the Premier to long-standing volunteers of the Macksville BlazeAid camp, which boasted the highest number of local volunteers at any BlazeAid camp in the country.
She met the people in our community who have doggedly advanced our need for new infrastructure - like our new Macksville hospital.
Ms Berejiklian met with proud campaigners for our Valley's youth, who are there to make sure that no one is left behind.
And the Premier stood in the dignified presence of local volunteers who have served this community for longer than she's been alive.
Mayor Rhonda Hoban hit the nail on the head in her speech:
"We will take that funding and turn one dollar into three or five ... and the reason for that is the level of volunteerism that we have in the Nambucca Valley," she said, reiterating that while we may not be a rich society we are richer for the efforts of so many selfless individuals.
The Premier apologised for not being able to visit in the wake of the fires - COVID halted any plans of that, she said.
"But please know that just because I don't mention Macksville or the Nambucca Valley in my daily briefings, that we know who you are, we know what you're made of ... and what you have here is a symbol of the richness of NSW," she said.