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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 May 2018) . . Page.. 1704 ..


(e) further to these amendments, on 25 October 2017, the ACT Government announced additional resources for Domestic Animal Services to enable them to effectively administer and implement these new laws. This included the doubling of the number Domestic Animal Service Rangers; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to provide the Assembly with a report on the staff configuration engaged in Domestic Animal Services in the following timeframes:

(a) prior to October 2017, broken down by:

(i) staff levels;

(ii) the classification levels of these positions; and

(iii) the status of these positions including permanently occupied, occupied by short term or contract person; and

(b) as at 9 May, broken down by:

(i) staff levels in each section;

(ii) the classification levels of these positions in each section; and

(iii) the status of these positions including permanently occupied, occupied by short term or contract person in each section.”.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.14): I support Minister Fitzharris’s amendment to Ms Lawder’s motion, which I think will better deliver the intention and spirit of Ms Lawder’s motion. I thank Ms Lawder for the motion and her continued passion for animal welfare in this territory. Ms Lawder’s work in progressing the late Steve Doszpot’s campaign on dangerous dogs is admirable, and I look forward to working with her on future animal welfare issues where she will no doubt take them on with as much passion as she has this one.

The “calls on” in this motion look awfully like a question on notice. If the opposition is struggling for ideas for their many private members’ motions, the ACT Greens would be more than happy to take a few of them off their hands. Now on to the motion itself: the ACT Greens firmly believe in protecting our community and animals, and we recognise the government’s role is in helping people navigate the inherently unpredictable and chaotic relationships between people and planet. Part of that is providing frameworks to protect vulnerable people from animal attacks, but the flipside of that is protecting animals from people encroaching on their space and recognising when an animal is reacting instinctively to threats.

So much of the narrative around dangerous dogs is about how dogs are inherently dangerous and punitive action needs to take place against both the dogs and their owners to make a change. This completely misses the point that dogs are fundamentally dangerous but so are humans, and doubly so for both species when threatened. We are the peak predators.

I appreciate Ms Lawder is following up with the government on the implementation of their commitment to increase staffing levels in domestic animal services due to the debate on last year’s dangerous dog legislation. I actually asked a question on notice


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