North Stradbroke Island rangers trained to take on residents letting dogs run

COUNCIL has moved to crack down on North Stradbroke Island residents who let their dogs roam.

WILDLIFE SUFFER: An island koala after being attacked by a roaming dog.

WILDLIFE SUFFER: An island koala after being attacked by a roaming dog.

Authority has been given to two island organisations whose staff can now help Redland City Council dog inspectors control loose domestic pets.

Late last year several koalas and kangaroos were killed by dogs left to roam on the island.

The situation became so bad that Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Cameron Costello said it was time to investigate the idea of banning cats and dogs from the island.

Publicity about the situation also led to a mainland residential backlash, with a plethora of complaints particularly about people who let dogs run off-leash on sports grounds, footpaths, conservation reserves and bike tracks.

DOG TOLL: Rangers Darren Burns and Dave Nalder and the koalas

DOG TOLL: Rangers Darren Burns and Dave Nalder and the koalas

Mayor Karen Williams said council had trained and given limited authority to three Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation officers and one camping officer.

They would be able to gather evidence for breaches as well as telling owners about regulations.

They could work on council land, in restricted areas and deal with owners about the control and picking up after their animals. 

Talks on animal controls also were under way with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers.

OWNERS TO BLAME: A kangaroo killed by dogs left to run by residents.

OWNERS TO BLAME: A kangaroo killed by dogs left to run by residents.

“This is part of our ongoing relationship with Quandamooka traditional owners, following the signing of our Indigenous Land Use Agreement in 2011 and other joint initiatives to deliver outcomes for the entire community,” she said.

“It makes sense to have QYAC and Straddie Camping officers, who already work on the island, assist with dog control.

“Under state government legislation and council’s animal management local law, they will be able to act on council’s behalf in some instances to help ensure residents and visitors to Straddie are aware of their pet ownership responsibilities.”

QYAC chief executive Cameron Costello said trained QYAC and Straddie Camping employees would be allowed to take photographs and use voice recorders for evidence purposes.

“Our staff are now job-ready after receiving a refresher with council last month,” Mr Costello said.

“Ensuring we promote responsible dog ownership is a key priority for QYAC and these delegations are another step in our joint animal management efforts with council to preserve the community and natural environment we know and love.

“We have lots of native wildlife on the move around the island at the moment, so this delegation is very timely and allows a more holistic approach across different land tenures.”

Cr Peter Mitchell said aside from maintaining public safety and amenity, regulations helped protect wildlife which was especially important on Straddie.

“This agreement is another example of council, QYAC and other agencies working together to protect the island’s unique ecosystems,” he said.

A total of 340 dogs are registered on the island – 140 at Dunwich, 120 at point Lookout and 80 at Amity Point.