Veteran’s flag flies in face of village bylaws

Mark Irving, The West AustralianUpdated September 28, 2012, 2:40 am

Sam McDonald with his flagpole at the Timbers Edge lifestyle village. Picture: Nic Ellis, The West Australian

Sam McDonald fought in the jungles of Borneo and Vietnam – and now he’s battling the owners of a Dawesville lifestyle village over his Australian flag.

The flag means a fair bit to the SAS veteran who has run it up a pole outside every home he has owned in the past 25 years – in Leeming, Dunsborough and then Meadow Springs.

“It’s the same flag that’s draped over my SAS mates’ coffins,” he said.

But he has run into problems in his new home in a residential resort called Timbers Edge.

Mr McDonald and wife Chris moved there this month and a week later he cemented the 7m flagpole in his back garden.

The next day he was told by a village staffer it had to go, he said.

Mr McDonald said there was no mention of a ban on flagpoles in the design guidelines he had been given.

“I didn’t think for one moment that I needed permission to put up the flagpole,” he said.

Mr McDonald said he and his wife had been keen to move into a lifestyle village. “I’ve been resisting for years because I knew I’d end up coming to blows with some bugger because of their petty rules and regulations,” he said.

_The West Australian _yesterday phoned Timbers Edge and spoke to a woman who identified herself only as Maureen, the admissions manager.

“We are a survey strata and a private estate and you own your own block but you have to abide by the bylaws,” she said.

She excused herself and _The West Australian _ agreed to call back later.

When we did, Maureen said she had spoken to Timbers Edge’s council of owners which did not want her to comment further.

Mr McDonald said: “I’m going to leave the flagpole up and see what happens.”

Ida Smithwick, WA president of Strata Community Australia, said Mr McDonald should read the complex’s bylaws.

“However, even if it (a ban on flagpoles) is in the bylaws, if the gentleman wants to fly his flag he could apply to the State Administrative Tribunal and get them to adjudicate on the matter,” she said.

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