BATHURST is facing some big decisions in the coming years.
The thousands of new residents we have welcomed - and will continue to welcome - are changing our city in ways that previous mayors and senior council staff would never have dreamed.
Hereford Street and Eglinton Road, which were once required to carry only light traffic, are now thoroughfares that funnel great swathes of the city in the morning and the evening peaks.
Our inner city streets are ringing with the sound of renovation and development as ex-Sydneysiders bring their appetite for CBD living with them over the Blue Mountains.
Eglinton, formerly a sleepy riverside village, is becoming a major suburb. Raglan will soon be linked to our urban spread as the Great Western Highway duplication reaches the village and moves beyond it.
We're wrestling with questions of water security, residential sprawl, CBD density and the future of our commercial centre.
They are big questions, but they are not impossible questions. And refusing to think about them, or declaring that they are just too hard, will not make them go away.
The Advocate has reported in the past two weeks on concerns about the adequacy of our health services, on a renewed call for council to plan for a higher dam wall and on the need for more sympathetic design in the heritage conservation area.
What do those three stories (and plenty of others that appear in this paper) have in common? They are about the sort of city we want as our population moves to 50,000 people and well beyond.
We've got a lot to think about - but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are lots of regional cities that would like our problems.
We must, however, be prepared to make the big decisions when the time comes.
Delaying those decisions won't make the answers any more clear, but it will make the solutions more difficult.