Council split on location of new animal shelter

David SalvaireGeraldton Guardian

Flores Road was recently endorsed by the council as the location for the City of Greater Geraldton’s new animal management facility despite some councillors labelling the decision a backflip.

In March 2016, the council voted in favour of using the area for public space but last month’s endorsement paves the way for the new facility’s construction on the railway reserve.

Speaking at the December meeting, Cr Graeme Bylund joined three other members in speaking out against the decision.

“We had the opportunity previously to secure this entire corridor and we voted to obtain it for public space and there was no mention of building council infrastructure on there,” he said.

“How can we vote for this when we’ve had a vote 10 months ago for a different use?”

Councillors Bylund, Natasha Colliver, Michael Reymond and David Caudwell voted against the motion.

Located in front of the old landfill opposite Geraldton Golf Club, the facility will cater for dogs, cats and livestock in one location.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said having one centrally located facility to manage all types of animals will benefit both the community and the City.

“Flores Road is centrally located which will make it easier for members of the community to get to the facility to pick up their impounded pets or livestock,” he said.

“With 14 dog attacks registered over the Christmas holiday period alone, the office space included in the building will enable the City to better administer animal management activities.

“While the overall design of the facility allows for a future heritage path and interpretive elements which will eventually be developed in this location.”

The new animal management facility will also be joined by the Geraldton Dog Rescue.

“The Geraldton Dog Rescue approached the City regarding the availability of land to establish their operations,” Mr Van Styn said.

“Discussions with the group have resulted in the Dog Rescue opting to co-locate their operations to the site, which means animals that aren’t collected can easily be given to the rescue for rehoming.”

The City will now enter into a licence agreement the Public Transport Authority to secure the land.

The 2016-17 budget has allocated $1.25 million for the construction of the new animal management facility.

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