It's no secret that Wagga City Council has big plans for population growth.
Our city is set to reach 100,000 residents by 2038, and it begs the question, how do we retain our country charm?
Surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside and with a dedicated and proactive community, the city prides itself on its residents looking after each other, congregating to celebrate its wins, and rallying around mates in times of need.
When strolling down Baylis Street, you are bound to bump into people you know along the way.
When you walk into one of the many cafes or pubs, you will likely be greeted by the owner.
When we hear the tragic news of a fatality on our roads, you are sure to know someone who will be grieving.
But as the city grows, it is likely we might lose a little of this.
Last financial year saw 643 development applications lodged, valuing close to $180 million, as well as 590 DA's approved which had a total value close to $145 million.
From hotels to businesses, there are plenty of new opportunities in Wagga, and we need to make sure that we support these ventures to keep our city growing.
But, we also need to make sure that we aren't abandoning those who have made the city into what that is today.
Wagga-owned businesses serve not only the community but the broader Riverina region.
Where we live, shop and play is the foundation of our community, and unique businesses are vital to the diverse character of the city.
Local businesses create and provide jobs for people and are one of the largest employers nationwide.
Whether it's the corner store on your block, or the local furniture store, or the privately-owned service station that always had pies to fix any cravings - make sure you still show your support.
Surely there is a way for old and new to co-exist.
Let us embrace the new while not forgetting about those we have supported for years.