Community & Business

17 October, 2023

Locals fight for their animals

EVEN though she has to leave her horse training early and will be “covered in horse hair and hay” Louise Terzi will be protesting proposed changes to local animal management laws at the Tableland Regional Council meeting next week.

By Gail Sedorkin

Horse trainer Louise Terzi with her one-year-old foal Zoomer and retired racehorse Goody currently stabled at Tolga while she replants and freshens the grass on her property.
Horse trainer Louise Terzi with her one-year-old foal Zoomer and retired racehorse Goody currently stabled at Tolga while she replants and freshens the grass on her property.

“Regardless of all that, I will definitely be there,” horse trainer, Louise said.

“A group of us will be attending the council meeting to question the legality of the proposed changes and the severe difficulty it will bring if it goes through.

“It’s all going to be terribly difficult going forward – it’s going to affect a lot of people, a lot of businesses, if these changes go ahead.

“Local farmers and businesses are in an uproar – where does it stop. What’s the next step – to shut everyone down?”

While a delegation of concerned locals are planning to attend the TRC meeting on Thursday 26 October, Louise and dog groomer and trainer, Terri Wilson are also doing their best to encourage submissions against the proposed local law changes. 

“It’s going to affect Terri’s business as well as other dog groomers on the Tablelands. It is also going to affect local produce stores, local farmers, pony clubs and show jumping clubs," Louise said.

The deadline for submissions is 4pm this Friday 20 October. 

Locals and businesses including Louise and Terri have been handing out flyers to encourage submissions, and Louise said she knew of at least 30 submissions against the changes from her personal circle alone.

TRC has proposed that:

Local Law No. 1 (Administration) 2019 and Subordinate Local Law No. 2 (Animal Management) 2019 are amended to define an urban area, increase the minimum lot size for keeping stock (this does not include poultry or swine, if developmental approval is already in place), require a permit to keep stock on a lot between 4000sqm and 20,000sqm, and prohibit three or more dogs being kept on lots under 4000sqm.

“I’m allowed two horses at the moment, but if these changes go through I will need a permit for them. Racehorses cost $200 a week to feed, let alone if I have to pay for permits.

Louise’s three horses are currently stabled at Tolga on 4000sqm (one acre). "The home I own is rural residential and is on one acre. I am currently allowed two horses on my property. My horses are currently stabled as I do this once a year to freshen and replant my grass, but they will be coming home."

“We have spoken to Shane Knuth and Bob Katter who believe this is the only shire proposing any type of change like this.

“They have said it is not coming from State or Federal level, and it’s not from the Local Laws department or the legal department of the council, as stated at the previous TRC meeting when the proposed changes were tabled.”

Member for Hill Shane Knuth said he has raised locals’ concerns with council and has been encouraging everyone to submit an objection to the proposed local government legislation through council.

After the August ordinary meeting and responding to questions from The Express, a council spokesperson said the proposed changes to the Local Laws were based on the feedback councillors had received.

Louise agreed and said it was not prompted by the legal department, but there were a “small handful of people pushing this”.

“The over-riding cause for this law change, and we have been informed by more than one very reliable source is, there are a small handful of people making very loud ongoing complaints.

“So basically the law is going to be changed for a very small minority of people and is going to adversely affect the vast majority of people who live in a rural environment.

“How many people have actually put forward complaints to change a law. Where is it coming from?

“They have been putting in numerous complaints about animals, but there’s nothing that can be done about it at present as local laws allow the current numbers.

“They want to change these laws so their complaints can be actioned.”

The council spokesperson said the public consultation period would be until 20 October and encouraged locals to make submissions.

Visit for more information and to have your say. 

A submission should contain your name and residential address, grounds of the submission, and facts and circumstances relied on in support of the grounds. (Social media comments will not be accepted as submissions).


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