The Canberra Liberals will continue to pressure the government to take dangerous dogs off our streets after an ACT Supreme Court Justice questioned why ACT laws permit "residents of Canberra to be put at risk by aggressive dogs owned by others".

Despite dismissing the case of Canberra man who was savagely attacked by a dog at a public housing complex, Justice David Mossop questioned the government’s dangerous dog laws.

"Neither the difficulties of designing an appropriate legislative scheme, nor the importance of the respect for private property or the autonomy of dog owners, require a legislative regime which permits residents of Canberra to be put at risk by aggressive dogs owned by others," Justice Mossop said.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder:

"It is disheartening to read about the run around dog attack victims receive from the government.  



"As noted by the judge, the ACT government’s dangerous dog laws put innocent members of the community at risk.

The Canberra Liberals have repeatedly called on City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris to take action on dangerous dogs.

"My colleague Alistair Coe introduced strong new laws surrounding dangerous dogs to the Assembly last year. These tough laws required dogs that cause serious injury or death to be seized during an investigation and destroyed if found to be a threat to the community.

"Unfortunately, Labor and the Greens chose to leave the community vulnerable to vicious dog attacks by watering down the laws introduced by the Opposition.

"The ACT government should take heed of Justice Mossop’s reprimand and introduce strong new laws to help keep the community safe from vicious dogs.

"The Canberra Liberals will continue to pressure the government to finally act on this issue. My door is always open if Minister Fitzharris would like to sit down and discuss how we can pass legislation together to ensure that dangerous dogs are taken off the streets." 







I am very concerned and saddened that a police officer is now in hospital due to a vicious dog attack.



Dogs that violently attack people, and other pets, are a threat to public safety. They should not be allowed on our streets and in the community.


The government cannot continue to overlook these very serious incidents. It has a duty to ensure public safety.


A way to do that is to ensure that Domestic Animal Services is appropriately staffed and guided by clear policies, not the current mishmash and inconsistent application of policies.


Dog rangers have a very important role in keeping our community safe from vicious dogs, but the reality is, their ability to protect the public will be hindered without appropriate backing from the government.



The Labor-Greens government is holding up a vibrant urban renewal proposal because of one tree, even though it uprooted hundreds of native gums for its own development project without hesitation.

A proposed development at Manuka is potentially being held up because of a single protected London Plane tree.

“The Barr government is being very hypocritical about tree protection,” Ms Lawder said.

“The government’s approach to the protection of this tree is in stark contrast to the cavalier approach it took to the removal of hundreds of mature native gum trees along Northbourne Avenue.

“No tree can get in the way of the government’s development projects, but it just takes one tree to potentially hold up other urban renewal plans.

“While I strongly support the value of trees in our town centres and suburbs, I think we have to adopt a sensible approach to tree protection, especially with common trees,” Ms Lawder concluded.

The London Plane tree is a type of European tree which has been widely planted across the City in the past years.

The tree on the proposed development site was placed on the ACT Tree Register in 2012.


Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder has questioned why a beloved family pet of 17 years was euthanised without its owner’s consent or knowledge.

Ms Lawder has written to City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris asking why this sad event was allowed to happen.

Kambah resident Drago Gvozdanovic’s said his beloved pet dog, Izzy, was “murdered” at the express direction of dog authorities even though he reported Izzy missing to Domestic Animal Services within hours after she disappeared.

According to the DAS website, impounded dogs are held for seven days while rangers try to locate the owner. After the seven day period, unclaimed dogs may be sold or euthanised.

But Izzy was put down within 24 hours of being found by rangers.

Quotes from Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder:

“This tragic event cannot go unanswered. “To have a dear family pet of 17 years die for natural reasons is heartbreaking.

“But to have your pet killed by authorities without your knowledge, and without explanation is an injustice.

“According to my constituent, Izzy was microchipped and so the veterinary surgeon was able to leave a phone message informing him of his pet’s whereabouts.

“But by the time Mr Gvozdanovic contacted the vet, Izzy had been put down.

“Why did this happen? “The government will never be able to replace Izzy, but Minister Fitzharris owes Mr Gvozdanovic an explanation and an unreserved apology.”


Member for Brindabella, Nicole Lawder, joined the children at Holy Family Primary School in Gowrie today, for fun morning reading activities. The highlight was being part of the annual National Simultaneous Storytime organised by the Australian Library and Information Association.

Ms Lawder said “Every year, a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.”

“Last year 686,324 participants at over 6,129 locations read the same book at the same time. Hopefully this record will be broken in 2018” said Ms Lawder.

This year at exactly 11am on Wednesday 23 May Australian readers shared Hickory Dickory Dash written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood.

“It is a fun event with a serious side. It aims to promote the value of reading and literacy” said Ms Lawder.

It also promotes the value and fun of books, promotes an Australian writer and publisher and promotes storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country.

One of the objectives of the program is to provide opportunities to involve parents and grandparents to participate in and enjoy the occasion.

“As a Grandmother who loves reading to my grandchildren, I love the opportunity to read aloud to young people” said Ms Lawder.



Media Contact Deborah Seccombe

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