13 August, 2021
MBRC seeks legislative reform against irresponsible dog owners
MORETON BAY Regional Council will seek the backing of Queensland’s 76 other Councils in a push for legislative reform across the state to crack-down on irresponsible dog owners and improve community safety.
At its meeting on Wednesday, August 4, Council unanimously agreed to ask the Local Government Association of Queensland Annual Conference to:
• Prohibit ownership of restricted dogs across Queensland;
• Increase enforcement on unregistered dog owners;
• Apply the same court charges to local governments and state agencies;
• Improve the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) system; and
• Ensure proposed changes to Queensland privacy legislation permit the use of surveillance devices by authorised Council officers.
Mayor Peter Flannery said he hoped the LGAQ would accept all of Council’s motions for inclusion on the agenda and that fellow delegates would back them at the 125th Annual Conference in Mackay from October 25 to 27.
“Queensland’s 77 councils cover incredibly different areas and we have vastly different issues, but we all share a common concern for public safety and the equal application of the law,” Cr Flannery said.
“It’s essential that we regularly review and modernise laws to adapt to present-day challenges, and the LGAQ Annual Conference provides an opportunity for all local governments to not only advocate for change but also consider the implications.
“With increasing dog attacks that link directly to irresponsible pet owners and a greater need for efficient and effective systems, we hope to see a number of legislative changes to address these issues.
“Currently, it is within the discretion of all 77 local government areas in Queensland to provide permits for restricted dogs, which causes a lack of consistency across the state.
“To ensure community safety no matter where you are, whether that’s walking in your street or holidaying in our wonderful sunshine state, we believe dangerous breeds of dogs should be banned across Queensland.
“In fact, we’re doubling down on unacceptable behaviour by also putting forward the motion to increase the consequences for pet owners who continuingly flout the rules by not registering their pet.
“Fines are a good deterrent; however, they alone do not ensure compliance, which is where harsher penalties such as seizure should come into play.
“Speaking of cracking down, we also hope to see changes to Queensland privacy legislation, particularly the Draft Surveillance Devices Bill, to ensure we can continue to use CCTV systems and body worn cameras to support local police and keep the public safe.
“Lastly, when it comes to Council’s operations, we hope to see greater parity in court related fees between the State Government and local governments when carrying out similar functions, as well as the improvement of the SPER process to streamline the collection of fines and penalties for those breaking the law.”