Hike in dog fee riles pensioners
PENSIONERS have a bone to pick with Townsville City Council after it raised their dog registration fees without giving a warning.
The Bulletin has received messages and emails from angry local pensioners who are upset they that will have to pay for dog registrations for the first time.
The council’s schedule of fees and charges shows that, as of August 26, registration of a single dog for a pensioner – usually free – will be $ 10.
Alexis Wall, 68, yesterday said she was shocked when she opened a notice from the council on Wednesday and found she would be charged $ 10 to register her 18- year- old Jack Russell, Tiny.
“Going from zero to $ 10 is a lot,” she said. “You can buy a meal for $ 10.”
The Garbutt woman said it may not seem a large amount of money to some, but pensioners would struggle to pay.
She said the council should have notified residents before hiking the fee.
“There was no explanation just a bill,” she said.
“I think they should leave it as it was – at zero.
“We’ve paid our rates, we’ve paid our taxes and everything you can think of.
“Now we’re on a measly wage from the Government.”
Ms Wall said pensioners found it difficult to pay for day- to- day expenses.
“We pay our rent, which is cheap but not really cheap,” she said.
“Fuel prices are through the roof and you need a car because public transport isn’t that great.
“Even parking in town, you need to pay. We’re paying out to the council everywhere.”
Council planning and community engagement director Eber Butron said Townsville’s dog registration fees were among the lowest in the state.
“Council introduced a $ 10 fee for pensioners for a de- sexed dog to recoup some of the costs to the community that go towards animal management for the city, and this is less than half the price of the next cheapest council,” he said in a statement.
“Pensioners also receive a maximum $ 800 rebate to their annual rates.”
Dog registration fees have increased across the board and the standard fee increased from $ 76 to $ 102.
The desexed dog rate increased by $ 1 to $ 44.
A comparison of councils statewide shows Townsville dog owners pay the least.
Dog owners in Brisbane pay $ 138.55, Mackay $ 120, Ipswich $ 195, Cairns $ 125 and Rockhampton $ 115.50.