Mount Gambier City council has voted in favour of a round of changes to the council’s annual fees and charges, including increases to dog registration fees.
While a 50% fee concession for pensioners and health cardholders remains in place, nearly all fees will increase for dog registrations, whether non-standard or standard, desexed or not in 2021/22.
Dog registrations for non-standard dogs will increase 10% to $55, while a standard, already de-sexed and micro-chipped dog’s registration will increase 20% to $30. Individual fees for late registrations will also increase by 25% to $25 from $20. However, registrations remain free of charge for assistance dogs, determined by Dogs and Cats Online (DACO).
The changes come as fines for dog attacks, dog nuisance and dog wandering increased five-fold for 2020/21 after a statutory increase, up to $750 from $150, according to council’s Schedule of fees and charges 2020/21.
With updated statutory charges for the 2021/22 financial year “anticipated” to be known by August 31, council is still to assess whether fines for dog attacks will change in 2021/22. The new fees and charges will come into effect on July 1, with council authorising its chief executive to update the schedule of fees and charges for 2021/22 “with any externally set statutory fees and charges updates without needing to return to council for approval.”
News of the changes also came as Grant District Council debated changes to its dog registration policies, with members voting in favour of a report recommending an increase to associated fees. Grant District Council’s impounding fee and daily holding fee of dogs at the South East Animal Welfare League will, however, remain the same at a cost of $63 and $25, respectively.
Acting director of environmental services John Best said that current income from dog registration and associated dog control fees in 2020/21 was approximately $92,806, direct expenses are $104,014 and in-direct expenses $53,281, resulting in a net cost to council of $64,489 in the year to-date.