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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2892 ..


attacks abandoned—and that, in general calls to DAS about dogs, 62 per cent were abandoned. It is quite shameful that we do not have the resources to address people calling about dog attacks.

We have had a lot of questions about funding for extra dog rangers, and it has been quite a difficult process to try and work out what has happened. We had an article in the Canberra Times in January saying that there was a ranger overseeing a team of eight rangers. It went on to say that “next month”, in a government funding hit, eight new staff would come on board.

The budget only had funding for two extra dog rangers but it appears that 13 positions in DAS were advertised and nine external staff were appointed. Of the eight new positions, from what I can work out, two are ASO3 operational support positions and one is an animal behaviourist ranger. These positions are not field focused. Were these positions vacant before? Given that we had funding in the budget for two additional rangers, how have we recruited all these additional staff?

I must say that they are badly needed and welcome additional staff, but does it mean that the area was so under-resourced in the past? It is a difficult area to work in. The ranger in the article back in January talked about being a first response officer and how difficult it is. But when you add lack of resources and support to that area, it makes that job almost untenable. It is such a difficult job, not just dealing with dangerous dogs but dealing with the human aspect of it, whether it is injuries or taking someone’s dog away. These are not easy matters.

Also during estimates we talked a bit about Izzy, the Maltese terrier who was euthanased by DAS less than 24 hours after going missing from her home in Kambah. Her owner had posted on the DAS website that she was lost. The minister refused to answer questions about this during the estimates committee process. I am still unsure when the independent report on the death of Izzy will be released. How long did it take? How much longer will it take, if it is not yet completed? How much did it cost? And why was the minister not willing to answer questions at the time?

Dogs are an issue that many Canberrans care very much about. Many of us have dogs. We love our dogs but we expect to be safe, and when something goes wrong we expect responsible, prompt action from the government. And this is a government that has been lacking in that area.

I would like to move on to parking. It appears that the indexing of fees has seen an increase in parking fees of six per cent and the extra revenue in car parking fees over the next three years is due just about completely and entirely to the indexing of fees. None of it is due to the increase in car parks because the government are not providing any more. In fact, they are taking car parks away. You are reducing the amount of this very valuable resource that people want to use and penalising them more and more whilst making it more and more difficult to use public transport instead.

It is a vicious circle. You get pinged if you use a car and you get pinged if you use a bus because it is your time that suffers when you are going to use a bus—time


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