Thursday, March 12, 2009

I hate local government (update)

I am so angry I need to vent. And vent good!

Just phoned about getting Floyd his little op. At work it’s $253, with a 5% discount for staff (why bother? it used to be 10%). The local vet will charge $150, with a $33 discount if your dog is registered with the local council.

Hm. Floyd’s not registered, I won’t register them until they are at least 6 months old (that used to be the rule), it’s time for that, too. Phoned the council. (Mind you, I just got my half-yearly rates notice and the local council rates since amalgamation have risen about $250!)

Council says, “Yes, you can have three dogs. You need to get a permit for the third dog. $100 application fee. $60 per annum after that. Plus dog registration fees.


I got Floyd because Bundy is 15 years old in April this year. He’s blind and deaf. He was not the best for a while and I thought his time was coming to an end, but since he’s been clipped and had Floyd bouncing around him he’s picked up, so I decided perhaps his time wasn’t up yet.

And now this shit.

God I hate the local council.

It’s not like they do anyfuckingthing about wandering dogs and bloody crowing roosters where I live. You can't get anyone after hours about animal nuisance problems... and I reckon that in years gone by children should have been bloody registered!

Oh, how I hate the local council.

In light of a few comments about the, er, grasping of local government I thought I would add some more.

When I first moved to this area in 1993 I had one dog. He was desexed and cost only about $20 to register, because I did the right thing. He never (well, hardly ever 'cept when he escaped and I was home and always caught him) left the yard. We had neighbours' unrestrained dogs always coming on our property, but our dog was on a running lead.

People loved walking on the estate, but it was hazardous because idiots moved out here from the city and thought that their dogs could roam free, not understanding that to a dog where he roams is his domain and he will protect and defend it. Many neighbours gave up walking, and walking with their dogs, because they were bailed up by dogs which were unfenced/unrestrained, with a dog galloping toward you how were you to know that a dog was savage or friendly, or whether it just wanted to chew on your dog?

In 1994 friends bitch had puppies and they asked if we wanted one. I thought it would be good for 48 (yes, that was his name, from the RSPCA in Yagoona, Sydney), to have company. We decided to take the puppy chosen for us by our friends. That's Bundy, who I still have now. The young boy at the home of the puppy owners loved one of the female puppies, he named her Katie, and he wanted us to take her, too. So we took them both. (Katie got lymphoma in 2001 and was put to sleep that December, and I got Meg to keep Bundy company, he was only 7. Katie was a sweet, gentle, affectionate soul. I said to my husband that she wasn't long for this earth and would die before her time. He said I was being stupid.)

We (I) did the right thing and notified the council about having more than two dogs, I recalled that there was some restriction about how many dogs you could have... I registered the dogs (about $65) and a year later the council brought in all these new regulations that if you had more than two dogs you had to have a kennel license - $100 first up and then $100 per annum. And you had to register your dogs, too. I fought them as long as I could, but then I got a job at the council and thought I should do the right thing. Being registered as a kennel and paying that money also meant that, if they wanted to be mongrels, the council could insist on me constructing a proper kennel with concrete floor and septic tank, etc.

I knew people who had nine dogs, they bred them. Great Danes, for crying out loud. They paid no fees, and didn't register their dogs. They live in the same shire as I do, and they made money selling their purebred dogs. Did the council go after them? Did the council even look up registered kennel breeders in the area, no, of course not. It's the honest dumb bunnies that they rip off. If I was a breeder running a kennel I'd be able to claim it all back on tax as a cost of my business. But not dumb bunny me. I wouldn't tell the council who they were, it wasn't up to me to dob them in.

The kennel permit lapsed and I refused to renew it. I fought them for years, and the local member of the council just told me to ignore them. I did. Eventually, in 1999, 48 was so arthritic, deaf and blind that it was his time. Then there were two.

You'd think I'd have learnt my lesson by now, huh? But they don't know who I am. I'll get Bundy assessed by the vet and see how his health is and go from there. He has trouble eating and breathing at the same time, he's deaf and blind, but has no arthritis. His teeth need work and he has some kind of growth on his side. I doubt the vet will anaesthetise him at his age.


Boy on a bike said...

If anyone ever finds a council that has Rangers working after 4pm on a Friday, I will keel over in amazement.

Why on earth would anyone call a Ranger during the day? You only ever need them on weekends (loud Saturday night parties) or at night (barking dogs) or noisy construction at 7am on the sabbath.

But those of course are the times when rangers are tucked up, snug in bed.

Anonymous said...

OK kae, tell me to mind my own .... business, but I'm disappointed with you!

Why do you tell the council anything you don't have to?
How many times did they come out and checked the number of dogs you keep?

Do they fix the roads for you?
Keep the grass down, reduce fire hazards?

jeeez you are a model citizen!
desoive any fee they impose on you!


kae said...

Whoa up there Ben.

I didn't tell them who I was.


WV: sograte
yeah, coucil is so great


Skeeter said...

Don't get me started, Kae.
When we moved here the local government (Albert Shire) was run efficiently and cheaply. To reflect it's rural nature, they even had a blue heeler in the coat of arms. Just after we arrived, I called at the council chambers to register my dog. The kind lady noted my rural address and said that it would cost me $3 but her advice was to forget it. No inspectors would ever get out my way. I did what I thought was the right thing and paid my three bucks.
But then Albert amalgamated with Gold Coast City and everything turned to that word favoured by our PM.
The rates went up, a 2-hour parking limit came into force on the road outside our farm, my roadside signs selling fruit were confiscated as fast as I could paint them, I was threatened with a $1400 fine for leaving a car outside my property with a For Sale sign on it, and the bloody dog licence fee went up to $73.
When the first GCCC renewal notice came with that fee on it, I wrote "Dog deceased" across it and sent it back. (In case any dog inspectors are reading this; — of course I shot the dog.)
That was all in the first year of the amalgamation. After that, things got steadily worse.

Anonymous said...

Ben seems to be missing the point that an entity that was set up to provide basic services now is applying levies to everything that can possibly help their bottom line. And the big surprise is you don't find out about half of their charges until you have reason to. Local Councils in Australia, by and large, are left leaning, low intelligence, groups of power hungry bureaucrats. That is a cancer we don't need. Mehaul.

Skeeter said...

And the sad thing, Mehaul, is that they will probably be the last people to lose their jobs in the coming years.

Another animal-control, council-amalgamation story:
Just after I had "shot my dog", a City dog inspector did come up my drive. He had spotted a loose cow wandering on the highway nearby and was hoping it might belong to us. I asked him if it was a dairy cow or a beef cow (we have both herds among our neighbours). He, being a city animal controller, had no idea what sort of cow it was.
OK, I asked, what colour is it? He said, sort of cow colour. So, I asked, is it red, brown, cream, grey — or black and white? He said it is black and white and he thought all cows were black and white.
I pointed him in the direction of the local dairy farmer's property.

Anonymous said...

There could be a book in your council experiences Skeeter. That's a classic. What a dumbo. And he'd be on $80k a year. Mehaul.

VanessaS gelding said...

Hi guys can you possibly sign my Petition against Local Councils this affects everyone

kae said...

Where are you, Vanessa?