Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 23 August 2018) . . Page.. 3590 ..
(1) Can the Minister confirm that Domestic Animal Services (DAS) will not take action in relation to a nuisance dog under the Domestic Animal Act 2000 (the Act) unless and until a ranger directly sees or hears the dog barking or being a nuisance.
(2) What is the test used by DAS for “excessive disturbance” under the Act.
(3) What evidence does DAS usually require before it will issue a nuisance notice under section 112 of the Act to require the owners of a dog to take action to reduce the noise made by their dog.
(4) What is the test for the Registrar to have reasonable grounds to believe that the dog in question is causing animal nuisance or excessive disturbance to one or more persons.
(5) Has DAS adopted a multiple household or consensus threshold test for taking action under the Act in relation to noise related animal nuisance; if so, does this defeat the purpose and operation of the Act which provides animal nuisance occurs when an animal causes, solely or in part, excessive disturbance to a person (i.e., one) and is intended to provide a remedy for that person.
(6) To what extent are resourcing and budget issues and the many competing roles and demands on DAS staff a consideration in a decision whether or not to investigate an animal nuisance complaint or issue a nuisance order or obtain the evidence required to issue such an order.
Ms Fitzharris: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
(1) No. A ranger does not have to see or hear the barking or nuisance but needs to gather sufficient evidence to substantiate a complaint before enforcement action can be taken.
(2) Consistent with the requirements of the Domestic Animals Act 2000, rangers must consider the number of people affected, be satisfied that the nuisance is frequent and persistent and that it presents an impost on the quiet enjoyment of the neighbourhood.
(3) Consistent with the requirements of the Domestic Animals Act 2000, rangers must believe a nuisance exists and consider the number of people affected, be satisfied that the nuisance is frequent and persistent and that it presents an impost on the quiet enjoyment of the neighbourhood. Rangers must also any consider reasonable precautions that a person whose animal is causing the nuisance has or has not taken to avoid or minimise the nuisance and any reasonable precautions that a person adversely affected by the nuisance has or has not taken to avoid or minimise the effects of the nuisance.
(4) For the Registrar to establish a reasonable belief, the Registrar reviews the investigative evidence including noise monitoring diaries gathered from the complainant, corroborative evidence from neighbouring residents and the frequency and persistence of the alleged nuisance.
(6) As per the Licensing and Compliance Accountability Commitment, DAS applies a risk-based compliance approach to ensure that its resources are targeted to prioritise the most significant risks of harm, unsafe practices or misconduct, thereby