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Strip residents demand changes

Monday, 2nd May, 2011

POSSIBLE CHANGES: Several permanent residents of Sunset Strip have praised Council after they announced the possibility of changing the progress association standing order. POSSIBLE CHANGES: Several permanent residents of Sunset Strip have praised Council after they announced the possibility of changing the progress association standing order.

By Kurtis Eichler

Sunset Strip resident Dick Thustain believes the Central Darling Shire's proposal to create a free-standing progress association will benefit all who enjoy the holiday destination.

"A lot of people were not happy with the progress committee," Mr Thustain told the BDT.

"We have a lot of volunteers here (and) they were trying to stop them from (volunteering)."

With the return of the lake's water, logs, branches and debris is continuing to be washed ashore, and Mr Thustain said those "stand over" people were refusing to clean it up.

"That's the sort of stuff they were stopping."

He believes the proposed changes will make life easier for the committee, and "weekenders" who own properties along the strip.

Mayor of the Central Darling Shire, Paul Brown said the shire would like to change the way in which the progress association, which is currently a council 355 committee, operates.

He aims to "clarify the lines of responsibility and control," and make the committee a free standing association.

"The progress association has been the 355 committee since 2002, and Council believed the lines were being blurred."

"Council have to make sure that, as a trustee of the reserve, that all the requirements and obligations of the trustee are met and complied with."

Clr Brown held a meeting with members of the progress association, which he said went very well, and received positive reaction from most of the committee.

Now in his seventh month as mayor, Clr Brown said he chaired the meeting which discussed options on how to fix a number of "areas of concern."

"Probably, the representation of the association has not been broad enough.

"They were not representing a full spectrum of the rate payers."

Currently the progress committee has 30 members, and Clr Brown said that bought about other "weaknesses", such as when it come to the AGM.

He said only 11 of the 30 members need to attend the annual general meeting, and only seven are needed to create a change.

"That's not quite strong enough."

He said the constitution was not as strong as it should be.

If the changes were to come into force Clr Brown guaranteed home owners along the outback oasis they would continue to have a voice.

Central Darling Shire councillor Ron Page said the other alternative was that the association become incorporated, thus not having to directly answer to Council.

"They don't answer to them," Clr Page said.

"They'll make their own decisions."

He said long serving former local government representative, Barry Fowler will soon hold a workshop with members of the progress association to discuss ways of improving Sunset Strip "in the next time frame."

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