Page 6 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022
to be taken the Registrar must consider the number of people affected, be satisfied that the nuisance is frequent and persistent, and presents an impost on the quiet enjoyment of the neighbourhood. Investigations into animal nuisance complaints can therefore be complex, and include noise monitoring exercises and the canvassing of neighbouring residents to help corroborate the nuisance complaint.
A number of notices or infringements can be sent to owners to enable preventative action under the existing Domestic Animals Act 2000. This includes:
• The ability for the Registrar to issue a nuisance notice to the keeper of the animal believed to be causing a nuisance. A nuisance notice will state that the animal nuisance must be reduced or stopped, and indicate that unless this is undertaken, proceedings may be instituted for contravention of the notice or an offence. If, after two weeks, the nuisance that was outlined in the notice has not stopped, then DAS may seize the animal. The keeper may also be fined under the Domestic Animals Act 2000 for failing to prevent the animal nuisance.
• Allowing an authorised person to seize an animal if the animal is deemed to be causing nuisance. A seized animal may be released to the keeper of the animal if the animal nuisance is not likely to happen again.
• The ability for the Registrar to revoke a Nuisance Notice if the Registrar is satisfied, after carrying out an inspection, that the notice has been complied with; and adequate steps were taken to reduce the nuisance or stop the nuisance from happening again.
In order to support community awareness of DAS services, there are a number of documents available on the City Services and Access Canberra websites. This includes documents on Animal Nuisance Overview and a Service Manual which outline how DAS works to support the Canberra community and animal welfare. These documents transparently outline how DAS responds to animal nuisance complaints and provide context on what constitutes a complaint.
DAS has reviewed the processes used in several other jurisdictions, which are in line with the ACT’s approach to managing animal nuisance complaints. This includes engaging with the animal owner to make them aware of the issue at the community level prior to the attendance of a DAS Ranger, and having support for reduction in noise by implementing requirements at a local level.
On average DAS receives 22 animal nuisance complaints a month. The most common nuisance complaint received is related to barking dogs. DAS recognises that there is opportunity for procedural improvement when dealing with animal nuisance complaints. DAS is acting to remedy this by focussing on resolving specific complaints, and thus providing a timelier response to the community.
I trust this information is of assistance.
Municipal services—cycle lanes—petition 25-21
By Mr Steel, Minister for Transport and City Services, dated 30 November 2021, in response to a petition lodged by Mrs Kikkert on 16 September 2021 concerning Drake-Brockman Drive and Southern Cross Drive cycle lanes.