Existing Animals And Enclosure To Be Removed From Lake

Griffith City Council has resolved to remove the existing animals and enclosures from Lake Wyangan, with rehoming efforts to commence in the coming weeks.

The difficult decision was made during the Extraordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 7 May 2024.

This result was necessitated following a comprehensive audit conducted by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI). The matter was considered during the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on April 23 2024, culminating in a unanimous decision to proceed with the resolution to rehome the animals.

Following this resolution, a Rescission Motion was submitted by Councillors Zappacosta, Napoli, and Stead on April 26 2024. Additionally, a petition advocating for the retention of the animals, containing over 1,100 signatures, was tabled during the Extraordinary Meeting.

After deliberation and debate, a very close vote resulted in staying with the original resolution to remove the animals and revoking the licence.

Griffith Mayor, Councillor Doug Curran said it had been a tough decision, but financial constraints, animal welfare and improving the lake water quality had ultimately determined the course of action.

“This decision, although challenging, is an essential one guided by the parameters outlined in the DPI audit. Regrettably, the absence of funds within the current budget necessitates this resolution,” he said.

“While it is unfortunate that the animals must be relocated, it is the only financially responsible option and is also being mindful of the conditions the animals are currently being housed in. Having said that, I’d like to thank the community for their interest and passion. I hope they understand how hard it was, every Councillor that voted for the rehoming and relocation of the animals is a parent whose children have enjoyed the area over many years and that we are doing what is best for the animals and so that we can remain financially viable.

“I would however like to say watch this space, there have already been some discussions and it will come to Council about a future where animals may return to the Lake area.”

Plans are in place to enhance the Lake Wyangan Picnic Grounds, including the implementation of Stage 1 of the Lake Wyangan Master Plan.

This plan encompasses enhancements such as the installation of a Sediment Retention North-western Drain, development of playground facilities, landscaping, irrigation infrastructure, construction of toilet facilities, installation of picnic furniture, and improvements to signage and the entrance. Work is set to commence July 2024.

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