It's been almost five months since the formation of the Parkes Shire Ratepayers and Residents Association, who is making itself more and more known across the shire.
Those involved said membership is open to anyone across the entire shire, male and female.
A group of residents came together on March 17 to consider forming the group, whose whole aim is to ensure the best interests of ratepayers and residents are at the forefront of any local government decision making.
They are yet to form a steering committee, an official constitution and be incorporated, with the coronavirus pandemic halting further operations for the moment.
But since their first meeting, co-conveners Steve Mitchell and John Coulston said their membership has been increasing.
The association is focusing its attention on community relationships with local government, with Mr Mitchell and Mr Coulston saying they had been receiving a lot of complaints from residents about Parkes Shire Council operations prior to its formation.
"The Parkes Shire Ratepayers and Residents Association was formed following a meeting of residents with a common desire to improve the performance of Parkes Shire Council," Mr Mitchell said.
"We had a meeting with the general manager and we've agreed on how we'd communicate - we're not here to throw hand grenades [and] we will give credit where credit is due.
"The purpose of the association is to contribute to the successful development of a strong, vibrant and healthy shire community."
Among the goals, the group is encouraging residents and ratepayers to be aware of and become involved in issues affecting their community.
"We are encouraging people to participate with council in their planning and consultation process," Mr Mitchell said.
"We want people to stop complaining after the event, because council advertise and hold consultations.
"If they have an issue we're encouraging people to go to council with that issue and if they don't get the response they want, go to the general manager.
"Get it in writing, write down who the person is you're talking to, who it will be passed onto and when.
"If it's an issue and they don't know what to do, we'll advise them of the path they might follow or what we can do to help.
"It's not that people don't have faith in the council.
"We want council to do their job and we want transparency."
Mr Coulston added they "aren't here for barking dogs or problems with the garbage man" but rather for community-affected matters.
"If you've got an issue and it's endemic, let's take it on and sort it out," Mr Mitchell said.
"We're here for people who feel ill treated or not responded to."
The association has started working on a number of ideas and Mr Mitchell and Mr Coulston said they are pleased to see council following through with some suggestions, such as using vouchers at the Parkes Tip and an online hub for the community to better engage with council on works and services.
The association is also pushing for council's finance and budget reports prepared for council meetings to be comprehensive, transparent and balanced.
And, importantly, encouraging residents to support local businesses.
They are working towards developing and fostering a proactive and representative network of residents and ratepayers prepared to respond to matters of community concern in a constructive and effective manner.
They want to help people better communicate with council and cooperate and network with council on issues.
"We can't promise everyone that they'll get the result they want but we can promise council will see it," Mr Coulston said.
There are plans for the association to soon have its first official meeting, but restrictions around COVID-19 will play a factor as to when that will happen.
Any Parkes Shire ratepayers and residents with inquiries or wishing to join the new association may contact Mr Coulston on 0458 591 290 or Mr Mitchell on 0422 552 381.
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