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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 23 August 2018) . . Page.. 3591 ..

strengthening its capacity to take action where the community, animals and/or the environment are most at risk.

Domestic animal services—dogs(Question No 1582)

Ms Lawder asked the Minister for Transport and City Services, upon notice, on 3 August 2018:

(1) To what extent is the Animal Welfare and Management Strategy 2017-2022 and the Government policies of promoting and incentivising responsible pet ownership a consideration in a decision whether or not to issue a nuisance order or obtain the evidence required to issue such an order.

(2) What criteria does Domestic Animal Services (DAS) use for deciding to cease an investigation of a complaint.

(3) Does DAS provide a complainant with opportunity to comment before any decision is made to end the investigation into their complaint and is there a procedural fairness requirement.

(4) To what extent does DAS take into account that many complainants will lack any remedy to resolve animal nuisance complaints themselves if the dog owners refuse to act responsibly, particularly after being advised by DAS that DAS has decided not to act on the complaint.

(5) Can the Minister confirm that a complainant has no right to seek a review of a decision by DAS to refuse to investigate a complaint or issue an animal nuisance order.

(6) Has the Minister issued any guidelines under section 114C of the Domestic Animals Act 2000 about animal nuisance and the Registrar’s functions in relation to animal nuisance, if so, can these be provided.

(7) What consideration has been given to reform of the animal nuisance provisions of the Domestic Animals Act 2000.

Ms Fitzharris: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Responsible pet ownership is a key underlying consideration in how DAS exercises its compliance functions.

(2) An investigation into a complaint may be ceased where all reasonable enquiries have been undertaken and a complaint cannot be established (corroborated or proven) or where it is not in the public’s best interest to pursue a matter.

(3) In accordance with procedural fairness principles, DAS notifies each complainant of the outcome of its investigation prior to a matter being closed and explains the rationale for the decision. DAS will reopen an investigation if new evidence becomes available.

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