Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Pound Problem Continues to Bite; Councillor Accuses Deputy Mayor of Wasting Money on Ill-Fated Regional Pound at Kawana

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Pound Problem Continues to Bite; Councillor Accuses Deputy Mayor of Wasting Money on Ill-Fated Regional Pound at Kawana

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Gately michelle.gately@capnews.com.au

A POLITICAL dogfight has broken out over the Rockhampton pound with accusations $250,000 was wasted on a proposed regional facility.

Cr Stephen Schwarten (pictured) said this week that money was blown on the ill-fated Kawana pound project (in 2011-12).

He said that imposing a dog (and other animals pound) so close to a residential community was always doomed to failure.

Cr Schwarten's attack came after a week of political sniping over Rockhampton's outdated pound facility.

The RSPCA brought the issue into the spotlight after it called the council out on its lack of in-house animal adoptions.

On Tuesday, council committed to investigating potential locations for a new pound, with a report due back to the health and compliance committee on October 6.

When mayoral candidate Michael McMillan criticised council's handling of the issue, Mayor Margaret Strelow hit back, saying it was Cr Schwarten who opposed a $3.5million regional pound proposed in Kawana.

On Thursday, Cr Schwarten issued a statement that he had always advocated for an improved pound, but opposed the development after residents and business owners in the vicinity raised concerns.

Cr Schwarten said there was no public consultation, but advanced plans for a facility which "would have severely disrupted the lives of many, many people" had it gone ahead.

"The present day Deputy Mayor, Cr Tony Williams, had portfolio responsibility for this council department at the time and I have no hesitation in holding him responsible for the wastage of a quarter of a million dollars.

"There had to be all this huge upset that was caused for so many people, which then led to a mass demonstration of overwhelming community opposition to the proposal."

Cr Williams (inset) responded, saying he had been trying to achieve improved pound facilities since election in 2007. …

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