Radical Green-Labor proposal turns animal-loving Canberrans into crooks

Elements of unwarranted laws tabled today appear to target responsible, animal-loving pet owners, effectively turning them into criminals.

The Canberra Liberals will closely examine this radical Green-Labor proposal which seems to be a massive overreach into the lives of decent and hardworking families.

Canberrans adore their animals and overwhelmingly care for them as a much-loved member of the family.

Canberrans would all agree that animal cruelty is abhorrent and should be met with the full weight of the law.

The ACT has taken firm action to introduce tough animal cruelty laws. Currently, a person convicted of animal cruelty in the ACT will face jail time and a $15,000 fine.

The issue we have in the ACT is the Government is unable to enforce animal cruelty laws that already exist.

Rather than providing resources to enforce the government’s own laws, the Labor Party is driving a radical Greens policy that completely overlooks real issues in our suburbs.

For years, the Canberra Liberals have denounced the Labor Party and the Greens for their failure to protect Canberrans and their beloved pets from vicious dog attacks.

It is not reasonable or wise to prosecute and imprison responsible pet owners for a range of matters concerning the daily care of pets, such as failing to walk your dog in a 24-hour period, failing to groom your dog or get its nails clipped, or failing to restrain your dog in a moving car.

It is clear Labor and the Greens believe Canberrans cannot be trusted to do the right thing by their furry friends.

The insult is worse when you consider the Labor-Greens Government’s own record on matters relating to duty of care.

After everything decent and hardworking Canberrans have endured under this government, it is appalling that Labor and the Greens think Canberrans are the ones who can’t be trusted.



Humane laws to reward responsible dog ownership and make dangerous dog owners more accountable will be debated in the Assembly today, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said.

“Dog attacks is an ongoing problem across our City. I continue to hear reports from traumatised pet owners who have witnessed their beloved pets get mauled, and sometimes killed,” Ms Lawder said. 
“I have always said that violent dog attacks is both a public safety and an animal welfare issue.
“By overlooking the emotional and physical trauma caused by dog attacks, City Services Minister Chris Steel is turning a blind eye to animal cruelty and human suffering. 
“Mr Steel has indicated his government will introduce an annual tax for all dog owners in response to dog attacks. This is an inhumane way to deal with a traumatising issue.
“Most Canberrans are responsible dog owners who love their pets, sometimes like family. Responsible dog owners should be rewarded, not hit with an annual dog tax.
“I hope that since I first introduced these laws, the Labor Party and the Greens have come to view violent dog attacks as a pressing issue requiring urgent action. 
“I look forward to bringing the Canberra Liberals’ responsible dog ownership laws forward for debate,” Ms Lawder concluded.
In November 2018, Ms Lawder tabled amendments to the Domestic Animals Act 2000.
The amendments propose to:
Waive the dog registration fee if owners and their dogs successfully complete approved dog training;
Double the dangerous dog license fee from $750 per year to $1,500 per year; and
Remove financial barriers for people who no longer want to own a dangerous dog. Currently, dangerous dog owners have to pay $60.70 to surrender a vicious dog. 


Despite increasing rates, taxes, fees and charges, the government is failing to deliver basic local services, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said.Despite increasing rates, taxes, fees and charges, the government is failing to deliver basic local services, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said.
Today in annual reports, Ms Lawder will question the government’s poor record to deliver reliable local services to the Canberra community.
“Canberrans are paying record amounts for local services, but the government isn’t delivering adequately,” Ms Lawder said.
“The gradual degradation of local government services is creating pressure points across Canberra in regards to health and safety.
“Bins aren’t collected on time, broken street lights take months to fix, potholed roads are largely ignored, and road duplications always seem to be months behind schedule.
“Of course, there is also the ongoing issue of dog attacks which the government refuses to acknowledge.
“The government must explain why Canberrans aren’t getting what they’re paying for,” Ms Lawder said.

New dog laws tabled in the Assembly today will incentivise responsible dog ownership and discourage dangerous dog ownership, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said.
Ms Lawder’s new laws reward responsible dog owners by waiving the dog registration fee if owners and their dogs successfully complete approved dog training. The proposed laws discourage dangerous dog ownership by doubling the license fee for a dangerous dog from $750 per year to $1,500 per year.
Ms Lawder is also proposing to remove financial barriers for people who no longer want to own a dangerous dog. Currently, Canberrans have to pay $60.70 to get their dangerous dog off our streets.
“I am very pleased to present new laws today to help keep Canberrans and their pets safe from dangerous dog attacks,” Ms Lawder said.
“We have been listening and consulting with Canberrans across the city who are concerned at the government’s failure to manage dangerous dogs.
“The government’s inaction has led to a surge of dog attacks across the Canberra, resulting in grievous injury to both people and pets.
“City Services Minister Chris Steel has acknowledged the breadth of the problem by admitting the government does not have the capacity to deal with the growing number of dangerous dogs in Canberra. He thinks taxing all dog owners might be the answer.
“Most Canberrans are responsible dog owners who love their pets. We should reward these responsible dog owners, not punish them as Mr Steel would do.
“What I have proposed today are sensible measures designed to keep our furry friends safe, to keep our children safe, and to keep Canberrans safe from dog attacks,” Ms Lawder concluded.

Recycling the graves of departed loved ones would be quite troubling for many Canberrans.
A dignified and respectful approach should be taken when honouring our departed loved ones. This concern should be paramount.
How we treat and honour our dead is one of the oldest cultural traditions that make us human. Burial customs have been honoured for millennia.
Canberrans do need to sensibly address the issue of properly planning spaces for cemeteries and crematoria.
While land within existing city limits might be in short supply, surely there are other options within the ACT and region.
What we need is to a range of options which will satisfy the varied needs of our multicultural society in honouring deceased relatives. Different communities have different needs and these all need to be respected.
Some people will still want to have graves in perpetuity which is what graves are currently understood to be. Other people may be happy with renewable tenure but to date this has not been without its issues elsewhere in Australia where it has been introduced.