© istockphoto.com/Dan Wilton

City will check on bad dogs

IT'S a job for the brave.

Someone has to visit the 40 or so homes in the region where the scariest dogs live.

Rockhampton Regional Council yesterday approved an inspection program for declared regulated dogs - those that have already been identified as dangerous or menacing or are restricted breeds.

It's all part of the council's new zero-tolerance approach to irresponsible pet ownership.

Using savings identified in other budgets, the authority has employed three additional local laws officers who will tour the region inspecting the premises where the vicious animals live.

Cr Tony Williams, chairman of the Health and Regulatory Services Committee, said the inspections would take place between November 14 and the end of January 2010.

“It is the intent that all properties housing a regulated dog will be inspected during this program, and those who are non-compliant will be issued with appropriate fines,” he said.

Under the local laws the premises have to have secure yards and sufficient warning notices informing visitors of the potential threat.

Councillors yesterday also welcomed a tougher stance on illegal land uses.

The authority has a dedicated officer investigating potential breaches of planning regulations.

A report said 127 breaches had been recorded in the last four months.

Cr Glenda Mather said once people saw that the council was serious about compliance there would be an avalanche of complaints from those who lived next door to illegally operating businesses.

“Some people have been getting away with running businesses from home without permission for many years.

“People who have been suffering have become despondent. They have no confidence that we will do anything about it.”

Cr Brett Svendsen, who chairs the Strategic Planning Committee, said the intention was to respond immediately to complaints to rebuild community confidence.

The report to councillors suggested unlawful land uses in the region included the running of wrecking yards, vehicle repair yards, fishmongers and even marinas.

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