SO we've come to the end of the official holiday period and it should be getting back to business as usual. The key words here are 'should be' with the pandemic continuing to play havoc on several fronts, including keeping cautious people at home.
The holiday season was marked by wildly conflicting - often far from summery - weather patterns and by yet another embarrassing example of 'old Lithgow' mindset in our ambitions as a significant tourism centre.
With four public holidays in a row there were plenty of visitors wandering about the CBD seeking somewhere to sit for a coffee and a snack but on Boxing Day just one overwhelmed café open (in Cook Plaza) and hopeful visitors being turned away to seek fast food or perhaps a service station pie.
Not much else open either unless you fancied perhaps a guided tour of Harvey Norman.
The situation improved slightly and slowly as the week progressed but by New Years day our Cook Plaza café was forced to close due to staff burnout.
Might have been good enough 15 years ago. Not today.
The situation also highlighted the need for adequate signage in the CBD indicating dining opportunities at the Workies and Club Lithgow.
Lake Lyell was our busiest destination but, oddly enough, numbers at Lake Wallace were somewhat down on previous years. (Maybe the car wrecking potholes put them off).
New Years Eve was, as it has been for several years, pretty much a non event in Lithgow as well.
And so that was Christmas ... and now a new year!
Rubbish and roads
THIS year is shaping up as a battleground with our region targeted for decidedly unwelcome attention from Sydney's rubbish dumpers. We seem to be still kept out of the loop on insidious government moves to set up a privately operated waste incinerator near Portland. Too messy for Sydney's west but good enough for us apparently. No mention of Bathurst's open spaces where our representative resides.
Then there's another horror story, not the least being a daily flotilla of semi trailers, over a bid the dump Sydney building site waste in a quarry at Bell. That's now before the court. Finally the open warfare over the highway expansion plans through Hartley, with the National Trust now entering the fray, seeking more time and accusing the government of not playing by the rule book in terms of public input.
Worrying times, and not just for the Lett River platypus colony.
Great view..but .. !
REGULAR road users were not surprised at a deadly holiday collision at Pearsons Lookout near Capertee. The combination of one of the world's best views and a demanding mountainside section of Castlereagh Highway regularly sees near misses with distracted drivers wandering off line. Perhaps a central safety barrier as at Mt Lambie black spots could save lives.
IT no longer surprises anyone. Three days after Christmas and hot cross buns were out and about in our shops. Just don't call them an Easter favourite any more.