Dog-owners will benefit from half-priced dog registrations in the new year thanks to a new initiative from Goondiwindi Regional Council.
The discount is part of council's COVID-19 Community and Economic Support Package to provide direct support to local households through fee waivers and refunds.
Current dog registrations will expire on December 31, with renewals for 2021 due by January 31. The discount will also apply to new dogs who are registered throughout the calendar year.
Mayor of the Goondiwindi region the Honourable Cr Lawrence Springborg AM said the initiative was part of a targeted effort to keep cash flowing locally and help households and community groups to look after every dollar.
"It goes without saying that 2020 has been exceptionally challenging for many members in our community," the Mayor said. "While our region has been lucky to have no cases of COVID-19, we've still felt its impacts - especially on the back of a long and drawn-out drought," he said.
"Council created its COVID-19 Package in June this year as a way to support residents through this challenging year and provide direct relief by minimising fees. With more than 2100 dogs registered in the Goondiwindi region, we anticipate that the dog registration discount could benefit roughly one in every two households," Cr Springborg said.
The registration discount complements a suite of direct relief measures in council's COVID-19 Package, which includes waiving all food licences for 2020 as well as waiving pedestal fees for local hotels, motels and caravan parks and waiving general rates for local sporting clubs and community groups this financial year.
Council has also reduced its development and construction fees by 50 per cent for 2020-21 in a bid to support the region's construction and related industries through the twofold blow of drought and COVID-19.
Cr Springborg said the announcement of the dog registration discount was also a reminder to residents about their responsibilities as pet owners.
"It's state law that dogs must be registered," Cr Springborg said. "Council encourages responsible pet ownership and there are additional discounts in place for dogs who are de-sexed."
Dog registration fees go towards ongoing animal management in the Goondiwindi region, including the animal management centres, the handling of lost dogs and complaints, and facilities such as 'stop and scoop' stations across the region.
Residents can register their dogs at any of council's customer service centres. No extra steps will be needed during the registration process, as the 50 per cent discount will automatically be applied to each renewal. Owners can also download a registration form directly from council's website: www.grc.qld.gov.au/animals/registration
All dogs in Queensland who are 12 weeks of age or over must be registered with their local council. Cats don't have to be registered, but they must still be microchipped. Failure to do so may result in fines being issued to the keeper of the animal. Working farm dogs are eligible for a reduced, one-off lifetime registration. Contact the council for more information.