Canterbury group under cloud

Canterbury group under cloud

A long-running south western Sydney community organisation faces an uncertain future as members try to oust its management committee amid claims it has neglected the organisation and watched public interest plummet.

However, the president of Canterbury-Bankstown District Gay and Lesbian Social Group (CBD) has defended his leadership, saying community apathy, not poor management, is the problem.

In an email circulated earlier this week, 25 members of the Canterbury-Bankstown District Gay and Lesbian Social Group (CBD) proposed a vote of no-confidence in the current management committee. They plan to pass the motion at a meeting in Belmore next Monday.

The meeting will also ask that the group be taken over by Rebellion, a separate gay group set up by former CBD president Alex Day.

Day, who sent the email, told Sydney Star Observer the CBD members had called for the overhaul because of inaction by the current committee.

CBD used to organise annual Mardi Gras parade entries and worked closely with the local council, but this had largely ceased since the new committee took over last September, Day said. The group did not have a float in the Mardi Gras parade this year.

We had a bit of a chat about it and I said, -˜The best we can offer is that Rebellion take up the running of [CBD] and that way there will be something happening in the Canterbury-Bankstown area on a weekly basis or as often as possible,’ Day said.

At this stage the only viable option I can see is that Rebellion take it over, but I’m willing to be open-minded about it.

Day stepped down as CBD president after six years when he lost a vote at the annual general meeting last September. Day founded the group in 1999.

Incoming president Adam Mills and a new committee took over in September, but since then all but Mills and one other CBD committee member have resigned.

Mills told the Star CBD was still organising events but public interest had waned.

Functions and activities can only happen if people are prepared to come along to them, and we’ve just had no response to the things we’ve been organising, he said.

I haven’t been able to put my finger on the reason.

CBD did not have a Mardi Gras float this year because in past years only a handful of people helped build the entry while many who had not put effort in rode it.

It was decided we’d march instead. We decided we needed a minimum of 15 people to make it viable -¦ and we weren’t able to get that so we just couldn’t go in, Mills said.

Mills said he would attend next Monday’s extraordinary general meeting providing it had been called in accordance with the CBD constitution and legislation.

He would also step down as president if members called for a leadership change.

If they don’t want it run in the way it’s been running for the last few months, well obviously there’s no point in trying to force something on people they don’t want, he said.

Whatever decision is made I’m not going to fight against that.

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