THE work undertaken by Capricorn Animal Aid (CAA) and the RSPCA across our region goes unheralded to a large extent.
In her September 7th TMB article, Trinette Stevens clearly defined the problem confronting animal welfare groups like CAA, - council needs to own the issue.
It is not good enough for a council into the last quarter of its term to suddenly say finding a new pound is the solution.
That is only part of the problem. The real issue is organizations like CAA have been cut adrift from the local government and out of necessity have had to take the lead in what primarily should remain council's responsibility.
The work undertaken by CAA and its volunteers is of great importance to our region and fills a void that I fear would not easily be replaced in their absence. Unfortunately like most present day charities and worthy causes, they find it difficult to secure much needed funding and support in today's challenging economic environment.
Last Saturday night I attended the CAA's Annual Fundraising Ball and announced that a council I lead would establish a Rockhampton Regional Council Subcommittee devoted to animal welfare.
This committee would be chaired by the Mayor or a councillor and work proactively and collaboratively with Capricorn Animal Aid, the RSPCA and other stakeholders to establish 'best practice' preventive animal measures, adoption and education programs that we 'as a community' can be proud of.
Positive and immediate moves would also be made toward replacing the archaic Rocky pound with a state of the art shelter, facilitated via a NEW joint partnership arrangement between council, the RSPCA, CAA and corporate partners.
I am appalled to learn through the media that we vie for the title as the cruellest council in Queensland. Neglect of any creature unable to fend for itself, be it human or animal is abhorrent and council should be the lead agency on animal welfare matters.
It is inconceivable to think that our council's response to this issue would be to turn a blind eye allowing hundreds of animals to be euthanased each year. We can and must do better and a council led by me will do just that.
Rockhampton mayoral candidate
Click here to view the Mayor's response: Mayor responds to candidate's concern for region's pets