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Strippers support plan to abolish Shire

Wednesday, 22nd January, 2014

The Sunset Strip Progress Association has declared its support for a controversial recommendation to abolish the Central Darling Shire. The above photo was taken recently by a local woman at the popular site near Broken Hill.  Picture: Trudy Stewart The Sunset Strip Progress Association has declared its support for a controversial recommendation to abolish the Central Darling Shire. The above photo was taken recently by a local woman at the popular site near Broken Hill. Picture: Trudy Stewart

By Emily Roberts

The Sunset Strip Progress Association has declared its support for a controversial recommendation on the future of the Far West region.

A recently released report on the future of local government in NSW strongly suggested that the Central Darling Shire become unincorporated.

The report, by the Independent Panel into NSW Local Government, suggested that Broken Hill be extended to include towns surrounding it, including Sunset Strip.

Progress Association secretary Barry Fowler said that residents would like to see the Shire Council, which is currently suspended, abolished and replaced with a village committee. 

The matter was discussed at a recent Progress Association meeting.

“The Progress Association for 50 years has provided the community services such as post office, recreational facilities and the community hall,” Mr Fowler said.

“In other Council towns they have these services paid for by the Council. It’s only for our volunteers, we would have no community services.”

Mr Fowler said the association applied to be a Village Committee.

“In 2012, the Progress Association wrote to the Minister for Local Government asking to be the trial site as a village committee,” he said.

“We had a number of planning forums in 2012 and 2013. It was endorsed by the broader community.

“When it came up at the Local Government review, we had the option to join Broken Hill City Council or be our own Village Committee.

“We want to stand alone like Silverton and Tibooburra.”

Mr Fowler said the Central Darling Shire Council only looked after three kilometres of roadway, the rubbish tip and the street lighting.

A proposal to come under Broken Hill City Council was strongly opposed, he said.

“Council would only take our rates and provide no services just like the present Council,” Mr Fowler said.

“Our volunteers look after the park, golf course, hall and post office.

“These are things that CDS do in Menindee and Wilcannia, but Sunset Strip have always done it ourselves.”

The Strip has 135 rateable properties that pay $85,000 in rates a year being 25 per cent of the rates contribution to Council, Mr Fowler said.

“Our land is valued at $3-6,000 but many places in the CDS are valued at $1,000,” he said.

“They pay very little rates. We may be the small community but we pay the most money and get the least in Council services.

“We don’t get any value for rates.”

The Can Do community endorsed several projects for 2014 including an upgrade of the septic tank and a new roof for the LandCare Shed.

“Over the last two years, we have completed 60 projects,” Mr Fowler said.

“We have a lot of volunteers and we could use that money for a lot of improvements.

“We could take over all that work quite easily.”

On another note, Mr Fowler said Australia Day would be celebrated at the Strip with a community barbecue and the presentation of the Sunset Strip Award to a volunteer.

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