Nik Butler: Time to learn a lesson from our cousins Down Under?

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More wind, more rain, more floods and downed trees.

Will we ever see sunshine and blue skies.

Will we ever consider a day without broken umbrellas or wet socks.

The downward force of current environmental experiences brings to mind the many events that are lined up for Horsham in 2014. Quite by accident; whilst researching what was to be on offer in the District I discovered the Visit Horsham website.

Or rather Horsham, Wimmera Australia website. With images of blue skies, slow flowing rivers, cafes, and cyclists our antipodean counterparts experience their Horsham which appears to embrace Arts, Festivals, Food and Wine, and culture.

Whilst our Horsham of West Sussex fights to deter developers and the potential erosion of our countryside theirs boasts a Horsham Police paddock covering an area of 48.5 hectares on the northern edge of the city.

The paddock forms an important part of the wildlife corridor on the northern edge of the area. I am sure I have heard similar comments made of our own northern corridor. Maybe ours is just a little too damp and swollen with flood waters to merit such auspicious protection.

What strikes me about their city’s presentation is how unashamed they are of Arts and Culture fuelling their events and festivals. They appear to embrace individual creativity expressed through a maker’s mentality.

Meanwhile I note we will soon embrace the ability of individuals to lavish money on cars and then park them freely around Horsham for our “entertainment”.

An event which leaves me constantly amazed at the ability of a community to take pride in other people’s spending habits; congratulations you are wealthy and people should show you respect for that.

I wonder if there is a columnist in the local press of Horsham, Wimmera, who stumbles upon our own online presence and writes of our activities? We let music festivals slip in attention and awareness then denigrate steam fairs in favour of market fayres because income and expenditure trump investment and risk.

It is easy to comment that maybe if I like it so much I should move there; That is lazy thinking.

The sort of lazy thinking which leads to lazy leadership. What I wonder is; can we rise above the clouds of conservative cliques to create a Horsham whose online presence successfully competes for the attention of events and conference organisers through our own artistic or cultural festivals?