The Saint: Drought signals our leaders’ moment of truth

Fundraising: Crowds turned out to help raise funds for Rural Aid.
Fundraising: Crowds turned out to help raise funds for Rural Aid.

Our leaders’ moment of truth

THE crippling drought rampaging across all of New South Wales may ominously become the new normal and must surely be a wake up call to all levels of government that we can no longer continue ripping up our scarce arable land or burying it under concrete and bitumen.

Uncontrolled sprawl and industrial activity has already destroyed much of our nation’s limited food basket.

We’re now in uncharted territory and our wide brown land is becoming browner by the day.

Toss into the gloomy mix the record population growth and we’re facing the looming prospect of literally being unable to feed ourselves.

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The time has come for hard nosed decisions to curb uncontrolled urban sprawl and open cut mining on all productive land.

Long term survival is more vital than the bank balances of developers and mining giants.

So, is it a wake up call? Don’t hold your breath - our citycentric policy makers still believe food grows in the back rooms of supermarkets.

They’re not happy

IT was never likely to stop the traffic but a Saturday morning ‘rally’ in Cook Plaza highlighted resentment at the  new presentation of Marjorie, our Olympic golden girl, perched on what one critic unkindly described as a milk crate.

A core group of around 22 rallyists (and one dog) as well as curious passers by turned out to be told that the it was shameful to treat in such an offhand way the woman who put Lithgow on the map.

Tidy Towns icon Sue Graves was a dissenting presence, carrying a placard calling for Marjorie to stay where she is. Sue likes the wide open expanse of concrete for open air events; most, however, seem to find more charm in the wide open spaces of the Simpson Desert.

The last hurrah?

ON a related subject our district Tidy Towns people will host the annual visit from Keep Australia Beautiful assessors this week. We’re not sure if they’ll be shown the still incomplete Cook Plaza but their are some real achievements to invite awards. Despite our proud record (famously including Australia’s Tidiest Town gong) this will be Lithgow’s final fling at the annual awards process. “It’s becoming too difficult without more support,” Sue told us.

How about this one

STILL hanging around Cook Plaza and a local businesswoman has suggested  what appears a good plan to both resolve the Marjorie debate and lift the stark image of the plaza. Her suggestion is to keep the statue at the present frontage but create another circular raised garden bed with neat timber seating such as completed at the other end of the plaza and place Marjorie as the central feature. It’s a win-win all around and seems to the column to be well worth  consideration.