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State Funds available for below standard Moruya pound

In welcome news for RSPCA Eurobodalla and the Animal Welfare League - Eurobodalla, it has been announced that Council-run pounds will benefit from a $500,000 funding boost to help cover veterinary, staff and food costs as well as minor capital works during the COVID-19 crisis. The Moruya pound has been criticised as being well below standard and poorly resourced to a point where the physical and emotional welfare of the animals impounded has seen Eurobodalla councillors addressed at public forums and dressed down for the conditions that they have allowed to evolve. In December 2019 councillors were told that a considerable number of concerns have been raised in recent years over Eurobodalla Council's running of the animal pound at North Moruya and that reports and complaints have long been made around the condition of the pound. A request was put forward for Council to undertake, at its next budget review, that sufficient funds be allocated to conduct: a) A detailed inspection of the current animal pound to assess its suitability in light of community expectations and current best practice b) further, that should there be inadequacies or improvements needed, that a scoping plan to address these be developed. c) further, on the basis of such a scoping plan, that costing estimates to implement any improvements be prepared for councillor consideration. The motion, presented by Councillor Pat McGinlay, considered the suggested improvements by the local RSPCA, in particular, upgrading of facilities comprising: a) paved entrance and parking area b) extended dog exercise area c) construction of separate, enclosed cattery d) construction of separate office and visitors’ area. The motion, presented on behalf of the members of the local Eurobodalla Branch of the RSPCA was widely welcomed by those in the community who have been concerned by the conditions they have seen at Moruya pound. Councillor McGinlay put forward the motion THAT: Council receive a detailed briefing, as early as possible in 2020, on the pound and potential works, including those recommended by the RSPCA to improve its condition and operations. (The Motion on being put was declared CARRIED) Now, six months since that motion was declared carried, councillors are yet to receive a detailed briefing nor have they received any indication of the costs of the requested works for budget purposes.

Above: six months on and council have failed to action the above Had the General Manager done as required and prepared the briefing this would be a shovel-ready project for our local pound that has seen an increase in animals impounded due to COVID misinformation. The funding boost for council pounds and shelters is in recognition of the new procedures introduced to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 as well as additional pressures being placed on pounds and shelters. A minimum of $4000 will be paid to councils under the program, up to a maximum of $28,000, depending on the number of local government areas the pound supports. Funding will be available to all council pounds across the State to ensure they continue to remain viable and functional. Minor capital works can include minor site upgrades, maintenance works or the purchasing of new equipment. A minimum of $4,000 will be paid to councils under the program, up to a maximum of $28,000, depending on the number of local government areas the pound supports. The funds will be paid directly to councils in two equal instalments - one this financial year and the other in 2020-21.

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