THIS month's freak downpour has directed focus on the real and present danger posed by an open stormwater drain on the eastern side of Club Lithgow and Queen Elizabeth Park.
It has also highlighted the need for flood mitigation work upstream in the Pottery/Sheedys Gully area.
For years there have been concerns raised about the canal, which is metres from a Lithgow Street footpath traversed almost every day by children from a nearby school. It is also right next to the entrance to Club Lithgow.
But generations of Lithgow Council officers and elected representatives have done nothing, ignoring an obvious duty of care.
The canal at this point is bordered by a steep drop and is unfenced over its entire length before disappearing beneath Main Street.
The waterway broke its banks in the January 11 downpour as a torrent swept down the gully leaving a trail of destruction.
Despite the best efforts of staff and members, it overwhelmed all protection and gushed through the front door of Club Lithgow, resulting in thousands of dollars damage and lost trade.
According to members, the club could remain closed for some time yet with even the dance floor probably needing replacement.
The adjacent Gumnut childcare centre also suffered serious damage.
There has been ongoing development upstream in the catchment since the Valley Plaza replaced an old colliery 50 years ago but apparently little attention to mitigation issues.
The new Council needs to act now to rectify the failures of decades of their predecessors.
Frosty film fans
WHEN Dubbo announced it was closing its drive-in theatre and placing equipment on the market, there were social media murmurs of 'how about Lithgow?' Fact is we had a drive-in cinema on Reserve Road back in the '70s with a huge screen acquired from Darwin and all the trimmings.
The owner claimed to be including heaters in the in-car speakers but when that didn't eventuate the drive-in, despite the popularity, was never going to survive a Lithgow winter. The café, stripped of its fittings, still sits as a forlorn reminder of what might have been in a paddock on a private property at Marrangaroo.
The growth factor
LITHGOW Council teams face an impossible task keeping up with the massive growth of grass on footpath nature strips in residential and business areas. Time to display some civic pride. Get the mower out and lend a hand around your neighbourhood. Every little bit adds up. Remember, many hands make light work.
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