Council under investigation
ROCKHAMPTON’S dangerous dog debacle took a new twist yesterday when it was revealed the regional council had appointed an investigator from Brisbane to prepare a detailed report on how it had handled the issue.
The investigator will examine all aspects of the council’s actions after a number of dogs savaged two people in North Rockhampton.
Two of the dogs involved in the attacks in Koongal last year were put down. But a third escaped the death penalty and its owners were ordered to send it instead to a rural property in New South Wales.
The saga, which started on September 1 with two attacks in quick succession on a woman and teenage girl walking in Horton Street, is now the subject of an investigation by the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
The CMC yesterday confirmed to The Morning Bulletin that it had received a complaint about the way the council had handled the matter.
A spokesman said the CMC had referred the matter back to the council which has agreed to engage an external agency to ensure the issue is dealt with appropriately.
“This approach is acceptable to the CMC, which will review the outcome,” he said.
On Monday afternoon a squad of council staff, with police back-up, descended on the home of the dog’s owner in Horton Street after a report that three dogs had been seen at the property.
Mystery today surrounds the reason for the visit because the council, citing the Privacy Act, refuses to disclose details.
It is not known if any dogs were seized on Monday.
But The Morning Bulletin understands the bull mastiff cross which was banished to Lismore is currently in the possession of the council in Rockhampton.
In a statement released yesterday afternoon the council confirmed it had engaged an independent investigator to provide a comprehensive report for consideration by all councillors.
The report, which will be sent to the CMC for review, will “clearly address each of the components of the complaints and provide the council with information to be able to determine the matters and identify the necessary actions required.”
It is anticipated that the inquiry will delve into the reasons the dog in question was spared after it was implicated in attacks which caused severe injury to a 59-year-old woman who spent five days in hospital and required 60 stainless steel clips and 20 stitches to repair extensive wounds.
It is also understood the investigator will attempt to find the source of information the council did not want divulged, but which was leaked to the press.
The council says it is continuing its own investigation into the issue and says matters still need to be resolved.