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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2276 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

the owner will be $358. That is $4 cheaper. So, perhaps Mr Corbell should do his sums before he jumps to these conclusions.

Mr Corbell: Well, you ask the Australian Canine Association. You tell that to the Australian Canine Association.

MR SMYTH: Mr Corbell said, "Ask the Canine Association." Perhaps he should do some rudimentary maths before he jumps to conclusions. In the case of the owner of an entire dog who was able to access the concessionary fees, the total after 10 years was $69 under the old scheme. It is $77 under the new scheme. The situation for a breeder who kept, say, four sexually entire dogs and therefore required a keepers licence is considerably improved under the new scheme. That owner, after 10 years, will be $487 ahead compared with the old scheme. If the owners access concessionary fees the difference will be $439.

Nonetheless, Mr Speaker, the department is consulting with relevant organisations to ensure that the fee regime is equitable, while still achieving the aim of increasing responsible domestic animal ownership and reducing the incidence of unwanted dog and cat offspring.

MR HARGREAVES (11.42): I am amazed to hear the minister say that he has been in consultation with the Canine Association because only the day before yesterday, if my memory serves me correctly, we met around lunchtime. That association complained to us that there had been no dialogue between them. Now, either the minister is having his way with the truth or they are, and I must say that I have more faith in the Canine Association. I cannot see why they would make fools of themselves in coming to see the opposition if, in fact, they had had some dialogue.

Mr Speaker, I am glad to see the review. I am sure my colleague Mr Corbell is glad to see this review. I am very glad if, in fact, as soon as the minister spotted the motion on the notice paper he launched into this activity. I commend the minister for his speed.

The point is that everybody is trying to achieve the same thing. This is the really dopey part about it. We are all trying to achieve the same thing. We want to get the unwanted dogs off the streets. We want to get the strays off. But penalising people is not the way to go about it. The government was attacking the problem, and I believe it still is with this current set of fees, the wrong way around. They really should be creating a series of incentives, not disincentives. I do not think these fees are an incentive. Neither does the Canine Association. Neither do the stream of people who have put emails through to my office. Mr Speaker, I commend Mr Corbell's motion.

MR QUINLAN (11.44): I want to say a couple of words, Mr Speaker. I have to admit to not quite having a conflict of interest but some association since my son is president of one of these dog associations, the Gun Dog Association. If there is a review taking place, then, as Mr Hargreaves has pointed out, it has occurred of late.

This particular group of people is screaming, really. I have learnt a lot about doggy politics in the last couple of weeks. In fact, the new fees have had quite an effect, inasmuch as the associations to some extent are fragmenting. They are talking about taking their shows to New South Wales. To some extent we lose a considerable amount

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