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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 May 2018) . . Page.. 1705 ..


to this effect in January after the Canberra Times reported that domestic animal services rangers would be operating in pairs from that point onwards. I will just put a big plug in: the Legislative Assembly’s portal has been talked about at some length over a period of time and I hope we have it soon so we can easily see answers to questions on notice. Ms Lawder would then have had the benefit of being able to see the answer to what I think is a quite relevant question.

The answer to my question noted there were currently eight rangers in DAS, with another eight being recruited at the time. The Canberra Times report on pairs came as quite a shock to me given that the purpose of increasing staffing levels in DAS was to improve operational capacity. The answer further noted that the requirement to operate in pairs had been in place for two years for safety reasons since, as Ms Lawder points out, dangerous dogs are dangerous and unpredictable by their very nature. This means the additional eight staff, in effect, doubles the capacity of DAS to respond to front-line animal welfare issues. It is amazing the sorts of useful information you sometimes can get out of a simple, friendly question on notice.

I note as well that Minister Fitzharris has kindly answered in her speech the “calls on” in her own amendment, which is possibly the fastest turnaround on a motion I have ever seen. Now that Ms Lawder’s questions have, I hope, been answered and the Assembly has taken on board Mr Doszpot’s campaign to reform dangerous dogs legislation, hopefully we can now turn our minds to animal welfare issues in the territory.

I apologise if I have not heard all of the answers because, sitting here, I often find it really hard to hear what people are saying. As per standing orders, members direct their statements to the chair, who is on the other side of the chamber from here. So I apologise if I have missed something.

Hopefully, the Canberra Liberals will join my call for the ACT government to have a clear policy to allow pets on buses, which will create a tangible betterment of animal welfare by allowing people to take their animals to the vet, to the park and to visit their friends when they might not otherwise have been able to if they did not have a car. This might possibly be one of our next motions in the continuing saga of improving the bus service in the ACT.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.19): I will repeat what I finished with last time: this motion has a call that is quite simple and quite modest, and I see no reason to simplify the call for information as in the amendment circulated by Ms Fitzharris. Given the community’s legitimate concerns over the real commitment of this minister and the Labor-Greens government to properly support domestic animal services and to support action on dangerous dogs, we have simply asked to be provided with information concerning resourcing of DAS. We have made this call because the Labor-Greens government has for years been reluctant to take strong steps on this matter.

I will mention a couple of points raised in the comments made by the minister and Ms Le Couteur. We asked for information. It might be detailed information, but realistically, there is no particular format in which motions have to appear. Scrutiny of


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