What saddened residents of Oakey Park were forced to witness yesterday was the final nail in the coffin of much-loved Zig Zag Park.
We were ambushed buy an army of men and machines who, in taking us by surprise, tore up trees that were the centrepiece of the park's heritage and beauty. They might have well have torn out residents' hearts.
Trees that hugged farmers creek saved the oval from erosion, provided shade for kids from the local Zig Zag school that use it on sports days and gave people somewhere to walk their old pets in the hot summer sun that Lithgow knows only too well.
Years of history erased in the blink of an eye.
Regrettably, it seems to be an approach some have come to expect from Lithgow Council. Years ago just about the only other trees in the park which stood proudly by the toilet blocks were all removed. They weren't replaced by Council and that part of the park was robbed of its beauty.
Then the fence of the park was removed, leaving it susceptible to hoons who tear up the grass and leave their rubbish. Well that fence wasn't replaced either. Advertisements hammered in to the ground by local realtors get left to rot for months. This park is being made an eyesore.
So now, with the death of these trees that delighted the residents of Lithgow in one of its oldest, most cherished spots, you could be forgiven for thinking the spirit of Zig Zag park has been killed. After having survived countless bushfires for decades, it might as well have been burned to the ground. Because what's left feels dead.
Fittingly, there's a few dead trees that frame the park on Island Parade - residents wonder if this is all that will be left to look at, apart from what now can be described as the baron wastelands of the park that once was.
Residents say they weren't consulted and report that when Council were contacted they were told they don't have to be. That smacks of arrogance and ignorance doesn't it? It's hard to imagine a more poignant example of a decision maker apparently far removed from the needs and aspirations of the one's they're deciding for.
It may surprise some to know that the Zig Zag park is the jewel in the crown that sits amidst heritage royalty. Nearby Brisbane Street is one of the few places in Australia people can view a rare heritage streetscape site. And not to be outdone, the famous aged Brewery overlooks it all. It's time to get out the polish and start making Zig Zag park shine once more.