Page 4683 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Based on my discussions with Mr Doszpot, I expect that we will be in significant agreement. I will also propose additional further strengthened measures not only to control dangerous dogs but also to impose much tougher restrictions on the owners of dangerous dogs. Last week we announced that there would be a doubling of the ranger staff within domestic animal services. In addition, new roles within domestic animal services will also play an active role in discussing matters with individual members of the community.
This is a matter I have taken very seriously. I have indicated time and time again, including directly to Mr Doszpot, that I am very open. In our discussions I believe we will have significant agreement. I know that he and the opposition have a strong view on this. I share that. Mr Doszpot is in no doubt, from my conversations with him, that I am very supportive of these changes. I said to him, “I would like us to work together. We want to get the best of what you are proposing and the best of what the government is proposing.” I indicated to him that I would respect his wishes and allow him to introduce legislation into the chamber tomorrow. (Time expired)
MS LEE: Minister, how many more families must go through the trauma of injury and death before your government is jolted into action? Will you be tabling tomorrow the legislative changes that you say the government has been working on?
MS FITZHARRIS: Indeed, I wish I could tomorrow, but tomorrow is private members’ day. Certainly, I have been seeking advice on whether or not there would be precedent for my even making a statement. I have been fairly strongly advised that it would be fairly unprecedented for me to respond tomorrow on private members’ day.
I will certainly be making a statement tomorrow upon receipt and dissemination of the opposition’s proposed bill tomorrow. Have no doubt; you will see a response from me and from the government very soon after the legislation has been tabled.
Public housing—animal control
MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, the property in Watson which was the location of a recent fatal dog attack is a Housing ACT property. The property had been attended by police on two previous occasions this year and police had twice called domestic animal services rangers to attend an aggressive dog on the property. On 27 October the Canberra Times quoted a neighbour as saying that “the fence was broken” and that “I’m afraid for my boys”. The Canberra Times reported that a spokesperson for Housing ACT had said “the government had not received any complaints or requests for maintenance”. Minister, were you or Housing ACT made aware by the police or DAS that an aggressive and known dangerous dog was at the premises?
MS BERRY: I certainly do not recall any information coming to me about that residence, and with respect to that dog. However, housing and the police have an MOU when it comes to matters regarding housing, so a conversation might have