Protecting our sensitive wildlife

Mark Shelton,Minister for Local Government

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is taking action to protect our sensitive wildlife from the threat of dog attacks.

The passing of our Dog Control Amendment Bill 2019 through the House of Assembly today is a great step towards protecting little penguin rookeries ahead of the peak breeding season.

These amendments specifically target irresponsible dog owners, and provide for stronger penalties that send a clear message: if your dog injures or kills sensitive wildlife like little penguins, then there will be serious consequences.

Changes include a new offence for instances where a dog injures or kills any sensitive wildlife in any area specified by the Minister responsible for the Nature Conservation Act 2002.

A person found guilty of the new offence could be fined up to $5,040, liable for a range of costs incurred, and may have their dog destroyed.

Other offence provisions with additional monetary penalties in the Act may also apply, depending on the individual circumstances of the attack.

In addition, the penalty for taking a dog into a prohibited area containing sensitive habitat for native wildlife will also increase to $3,360. This approach will support local councils wishing to prohibit the entry of dogs into ecologically significant areas, such as little penguin colonies.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is listening to the experts and the broader community in response to the recent spate of dog attacks in little penguin rookeries.

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