Responsible animal management is well understood, but the role of council’s ranger services is not so clear according to a recent community survey.
Central Highlands’ residents had their say on council’s ranger services recently so that ‘a clear baseline’ for measuring improvement could be established, says council’s General Manager Communities John McDougall.
‘Our rangers are possibly the most visible of all council officers out in the community and have a role that is often misunderstood,’ he said.
‘The team are tasked with upholding compliance with various local laws, such as collecting roaming animals, but are also required to promote and educate people about responsible animal management practices.
‘The survey indicated that rangers are most recognised for their work with roaming dogs and dog attacks, however it’s not so well-known that they deal with overgrown allotments, travelling stock permits, flying fox management and abandoned vehicles,’ Mr McDougall said.
‘Most people feel the rangers are helpful and ready to respond and are confident their pet will be returned to them if it is lost and, interestingly, people prefer to receive information via social media.
‘Overall, the survey revealed the need for council to increase public relations activity for the ranger services team to improve their visibility within the community and ensure more people are aware of the services the team provides.
‘The first of several recommended actions from the survey have been put in place with the ordering of some animated decals for ranger’s vehicles so people can easily recognise who they are and understand what they are doing,’ Mr McDougall concluded.