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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 829 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, why was money offered to build new tennis courts but not a new childcare facility?

MR BARR: Because tennis courts tend not to be commercially viable, whereas the provision of childcare centres is something that the private sector can and does regularly undertake in the territory.

Domestic Animal Services—dogs

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, I refer to an incident in December 2013 when 27 dogs were found to be living in poor health in houses in Macquarie and Ainslie. The dogs were only discovered in December 2013, despite persistent complaints from neighbours dating back to February 2012. DAS first visited the property in January 2010. Minister, why did it take DAS 22 months after receiving their first complaint to rescue the dogs?

MR RATTENBURY: I am not aware of the specifics of that case, Mr Coe. I will seek some further advice. I am happy to provide you with detailed information, either in the chamber or by way of a briefing from the directorate.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: With that in mind, I imagine this will have to be taken on notice—that is, what has happened to those 27 dogs that were seized in December 2013?

MR RATTENBURY: I will check on the specifics of those dogs. The general practice would be that they would go to the Domestic Animal Services shelter on Mugga Lane, where they would be tested for their suitability to be re-homed. Clearly, if the dogs had suffered some maltreatment, they may have needed time to regain their wellbeing. DAS works very hard to re-home dogs through a range of measures, including people coming to the pound to get dogs. There is a website and a working collaboration with the RSPCA to maximise the re-homing rate and give animals a new chance. There also can be issues if dogs have been seized, as there are legal steps owners might be able to take to retrieve them. That is why I would need to look at the specifics of the matter Mr Coe is asking about.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, in light of seeking further information, were you or the directorate aware of any incidents that may have resulted in dogs perishing at properties in question between January 2010 and December 2013? If so, what was done?

MR RATTENBURY: I will check that information and provide it to the Assembly.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

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