General News

30 November, 2022

Group rejects grant

AN animal welfare organisation will return a $6000 grant to Tablelands Regional Council because it refuses to work with an animal rehoming group in the region.

Group rejects grant - feature photo

The Atherton District Animal Welfare Society approached council earlier this year to increase the amount of funding it receives from $5000 a year to $10,000 a year to allow the group to provide more vouchers to people to desex and microchip their pets.

Council decided to increase the amount to $6000 a year over three years but it came with a requirement to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to provide vouchers to other organisations that assist in the rehoming of animals.

Due to a legal issue the society currently has with a rehoming organisation working in the region, secretary Iris Crawford wrote to the council to advise it would not be able to sign the MoU and therefore would return the funds.

“The problem arose when we were advised by this sole trader, rehoming organisation that they also had an MoU with council for the rescue of impounded rehomeable animals,” the letter said.

“We presently have a defamation case with this particular organisation and we can see no way we can deal with them.

“As explained to your Community Services manager, we would have no problem dealing with any other rescue group on the Tablelands, however since council is insistent we deal with this particular organisation, we will have no alternative but to reject the offer of $6000 and not sign the MoU.”

Council officers put forward that the money should be still used for the desexing and micro-chipping of pets, but Deputy Mayor Cr Kevin Cardew wanted the $6000 to be put back into the general fund.

“Again, it’s a budget thing, we are trying to save money, cut costs, we already have funding in the budget for Local Laws to do microchipping and desexing,” he said.

“We shouldn’t put more money into that just because we’ve come across a saving.”

But Crs Dave Bilney and Bernie Wilce stressed how important it was to keep supporting the ongoing desexing and microchipping of animals, saying it would assist Local Laws officers in the long run.

Council voted 6-1 to allow the funds to be still used for that purpose.

Despite not having the additional $6000 a year from the council, the Atherton District Animal Welfare Society will continue to provide vouchers to residents of the Tablelands local government area to assist them with the desexing and micro-chipping of pets.


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