Hon John Castrilli MLA

Hon John Castrilli MLA

Former Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Opposition claims on cat laws wrong

    22/09/2011 12:00 AM
    • Mr Papalia has missed the point once again
    Claims by Opposition spokesperson Paul Papalia that the Cat Bill 2011 gives local government councils workers more powers than police are sensationalist and incorrect.

    Local Government Minister John Castrilli said Mr Papalia had stated that ‘the Barnett Government was passing laws that give more powers to council workers investigating cats than police have when dealing with drug dealers, organised crime figures or paedophiles.’

    “Statements such as ‘It’s about freedom’; ‘It’s the thing that separates us from places like Iran and China’; and ‘Taking away hard won freedoms’ are nothing more than scaremongering,” Mr Castrilli said.

    The Minister said we live in a civil society because we have laws.  These laws set out what was expected of law-abiding citizens and gave powers to investigate and take action against law breakers.

    “The Cat Bill does no more than that.  It allows a ranger to enter a property with the permission of the owner or with a warrant,” he said.

    Mr Papalia should note:  Only when it is necessary for the ranger to investigate an offence - and then only when the ranger is lawfully on the property - can the ranger -

    • examine or copy documents if they are relevant (for example, registration papers)
    • take photographs or video relevant to the offence, such as the living conditions of a caged cat)
    • direct a person to answer questions (for example, ask whether the cat is sterilised and registered) or
    • take other necessary action, such as seizing a diseased cat.
    “This is necessary to deal with situations where kittens are being bred in terrible conditions and where a person and numerous cats are not being properly cared for,” the Minister said.

    “The police have much greater powers, and so they should.  Police can use force to enter premises under the Cat Bill, rangers cannot.” 

           Fact File
    • Local government rangers can enter premises with a warrant issued by a justice when an offence has been committed
    Minister's office - 9213 6800