On the 12th of July 2017 Labor Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines gave final notice of the refusal to allow the Douglas Shire Council to purchase land for the purpose of allowing an animal refuge facility to be built on Lot 84 Plan SP204459. Click here for a drawing of the exact location.
The state-of-the-art enclosed facility was to be funded and operated by local organisation Paws & Claws with more than $500,000 raised from the local community on what is considered the only viable site in the Douglas Shire.
This outcome goes against the numerous requests and proven research given by the Douglas Shire Council that the allotment requested contains no vegetation of concern and is at odds with the strong want by the local community to have the refuge at this location.
There is not a Council in this country that does more to preserve and enhance our World Heritage-listed natural environment than ours, a fact demonstrated by the numerous environmental awards and achievements this Council has been recognised for over many years
A vegetation survey of the site conducted by Council’s Land Management staff showed that all of the 68 plant species found there were classified as “Of Least Concern Wildlife” according to the Nature Conservation Act despite the fact the vegetation communities are classified (incorrectly) as “of concern regional ecosystems”.
The Association along with Council has exhausted all avenues for other potential suitable sites in the Douglas Shire and it is now going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for this new animal shelter to be built somewhere else.
Without a new animal shelter, these abandoned animals who would’ve been housed there will be left to roam, killing native wildlife including cassowaries which the Department claims their decision was meant to protect.
This region has been in desperate need for another animal rescue facility since the closure of the last premises and with the closure of the RSPCA and the funding cuts to YAPS this region is currently facing a potential environmental disaster with the realistic fear more than ever before animals will be dumped .
The outcome of this decision will be the opposite of what the Department intended as the failure to support this proposal will most certainly directly result in the death of native wildlife from the influx of feral cats and wild dogs in the local environment including the Daintree National Park.
We therefor request that you reconsider your decision and allow the Douglas Shire Council to purchase this land on behalf of the Homeless Animal Society and Boarding Kennels for the operation of a refuge facility.
The Homeless Animal Society & Boarding Kennels maintains a “pro life” policy meaning no animal is euthanized unless suffering from a debilitating disease or has repeatedly attacked another animal or person and cannot be retrained or rehoused.
Paws and Claws are going through some changes including a new website.
Please be patient as it is constructed.
07 4098 5721