WHEN Lynette Zito came to Lithgow with her Kyogle Tidy Towns associates for the first time in many years she was ‘blown away’ by what the town had to offer.
That was last year and the occasion was the annual Keep Australia Beautiful awards hosted by Lithgow.
It turned out to be a very special visit because Kyogle was named the state’s top Tidy Town for this year.
This week Lynette has been back in the area in her own right as a Tidy Towns assessor and is even more impressed.
“My family had friends in Lithgow and we used to visit here regularly when I was a child she said.
“We always enjoyed our visit but my main childhood memory was that the place was brown.”
It’s no longer ‘brown’; the industrial haze of those days has long gone and Lithgow has one of the nation’s proudest records in Tidy Towns awards.
“The city has changed but thankfully the people haven’t.
“This is clearly a vibrant, progressive community and there’s so much of interest to see,” she said.
She was particularly impressed by the amount of new commercial and residential property development that has been taking place.
‘That’s always a good indicator of how a town is going,” she said.
Lynette was also impressed by the number of organisations in the Lithgow area functioning solely due to the efforts of volunteers.
“They put in thousands of voluntary hours for these sustainable projects,” she said.
Lynette did a Tidy Towns assessment in Bathurst and Cullen Bullen on Monday, Lithgow on Tuesday, Portland yesterday and is at Rydal today.
The towns and villages in her assessment report will know how they have fared when the 2013 winners are announced — at Kyogle — later this year.