Back to square one as shire's new cat law found to be toothless

Michael Sinclair-Jones

TOODYAY’S new cat control local law needs to be rewritten from scratch and advertised for public comment a second time, the Toodyay Shire Council has been told.
WA’s Local Government Department wrote to the council last month saying that the shire’s proposed new cat control laws – adopted by Toodyay councillors last August – contained significant drafting deficiencies and lacked fauna protection zones.
“This essentially means we cannot use this local law as intended,” Shire Planning and Development Manager Graeme Bissett said in a report to a council forum earlier this month as The Toodyay Herald went to press.
“The implications are so significant that we cannot proceed with the current process.”
A Local Government Department review found that the shire’s new law had failed to define what a cat was and was “too restrictive on where cats can be”, Mr Bissett said.
As a result the shire could not use its new  law to control cats in public places, which was the opposite of what had been intended.
Toodyay councillors decided last June to draft a new cat control local law, advertised it for public comment in July and approved the new local law in August.
“It is clear … that a significant redraft of the local law is now required to bring it in line with their (the Local Government Department’s) submission,” Mr Bissett  said.
“This means the process now has to restart.
“The current local law process cannot proceed.
“We are now back at where we started.”
Mr Bissett said the cat law would be redrafted and brought back to the council.
It would also need to be re-advertised for public comment in the New Year


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