LETTERS 18.2.23

Not many cats roaming Kings Park

IT was disappointing to read the letter to the editor “No time for licking your paws – we need action” in the Perth Voice on Saturday February 11, 2023. 

The letter fails to recognise and acknowledge Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is an A-class reserve that is managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, not a local government.

Further to this, Kings Park and Botanic Gardens have advised there is no evidence of damage caused by cats at Kings Park and on average, one cat is spotted within Kings Park per year.

A statutory review of the Cat Act was undertaken in 2019. The Cat Act currently provides local governments with a range of powers to manage cats within their district. 

The next review is already scheduled for next year and 

a number of issues will be considered through this process.

The McGowan Government has a large animal welfare agenda – including our recently passed legislation to stop puppy farming. 

A key element of these reforms includes the design and development of a centralised registration system for dogs and cats across the state. 

This new online system will merge all of the registers of dogs and cats currently managed by each of the state’s 137 local governments into one central register.

The centralised registration system will provide increased visibility and traceability of dogs and cats across local government areas, leading to better compliance, better ownership practices and an increased ability for local governments to identify puppy farmers.

John Carey
Member for Perth
Local Government Minister

Constitution speaks for all

INDIGENOUS Voice campaigner Thomas Mayor (“The cost of No vote,” Voice, February 4, 2023) spoke of the aspiration to be recognised, and a guarantee to be heard.

There is strong public support for formal recognition in the Constitution of our Indigenous heritage and First Nations People. 

There is less support for permanently enshrining a new representative body into our national rulebook. 

Constitutional recognition of our ancient Indigenous heritage is long overdue. 

Our founding 1901 document is silent about the First Peoples to this continent, and until recently, our history books said little about the imperial invasion of First Nation’s territories.

An Indigenous Voice advising parliament is fine. 

Putting it in the Constitution is a bad idea. 

Into our founding legal document, it is proposed to set up a permanent institution where one group of citizens will have a special right of representation not available to anyone else. 

And it will be powerful: the public service will be required to resource the Voice and the representatives – on any issue. 

As the PM said, if the Voice calls for action, “it would be a very brave government that said it shouldn’t”.

A fundamental principle of our British democratic heritage is that every citizen has an equal right to political representation, that everyone has an equal civic status. 

Advocates for an exclusive Indigenous Voice in the Constitution want Australians to abandon this basic feature of our democracy. 

Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples would become a different kind of citizen. 

There may be ways to constitutionally oblige the Commonwealth to recognise and hear Indigenous voices without entrenching a Voice and a special right of representation. 

Unfortunately, these options have not yet been widely discussed since the current Voice road-train took off with the election of the Albanese government. 

The Voice can also be established by legislation 

(without a constitutional referendum) – as a robust advisory body that is independent, authoritative, and enduring. 

Alan Payne
South Fremantle
Ed’s note: We cut deep to fit!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s