Rangers are employed by Council to protect public safety, enhance the natural environment, and preserve public amenities throughout the Parkes Shire.
If outside of business hours, contact Council’s After Hours Service on 1800 648 585 or the Police.
Council's After Hours Service is only available for emergency situations involving large stock straying on roads or where a dog attack has occurred.
Rangers can assist residents who are experiencing issues with roaming, barking, or aggressive dogs.
Where possible, Council suggests that you first approach the owner of the dog to make them aware that a nuisance exists.
If this is unsuccessful, Council's Ranger will investigate the problem and take appropriate action.
Seizure of Dogs
Council's Rangers may seize stray dogs that is in a public place and is not under the effective control of a competent person. The ranger will deliver seized animals to Council's Animal Shelter.
Cats are not restricted from roaming under the Companion Animals Act and there is no power in the legislation to seize cats.
Council staff will not respond to calls to collect dogs or cats seized by members of the public.
Animal Neglect or Cruelty
Council Rangers have no powers under the legislation and cannot check, investigate or take action in relation to neglect or cruelty.
Animal Neglect and Cruelty is dealt with by the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 which gives powers to the NSW Police Force, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the Animal Welfare League. The Animal Welfare League do not operate outside the coastal metropolitan area.
To ensure that timely and appropriate action is taken in relation to this type of circumstance please contact an appropriate authority directly. In the Parkes Shire this will be:
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) - 1300 278 358
- NSW Police Force - 13 1444
Parkes Animal Shelter
56 Saleyards Road, Parkes
9am - 11am weekdays
Council's team of Rangers and Parking Officers play a vital role in creating a safe and accessible environment for motorists and pedestrians. Council Officers undertake regular high and low visibility parking patrols to facilitate equitable access, ensure pedestrian safety and detect parking offences.
Council encourages motorists to consider parking regulations when parking your vehicle, to avoid a possible fine and loss of demerit points.
Council Rangers investigate concerns regarding possible abandoned vehicles. It is important to note that if a vehicle is parked outside the registered address it may not be considered abandoned.
Council Rangers will undertake an investigation in accordance with the Impounding Act 1993 which includes placing a sticker on the vehicle to notify that it is under investigation and sending a notice to remove the vehicle to the registered owner. If the owner does not remove the vehicle or make contact with Council within the statutory timeframe the vehicle will be impounded.
If there is a risk to public safety or the vehicle is causing an obstruction to traffic Council will work with the Police, and the vehicle may be removed immediately. The owner of the vehicle is liable for any costs incurred in the removal and storage of the vehicles as well as any related penalty notices.
Council Rangers investigate illegal dumping, littering and kerbside waste for the purpose of protecting our environment and ensuring the health and safety of Parkes Shire residents.
Illegal dumping is the placement of waste onto private or public land where no license or approval exists to accept such waste.
Every reasonable attempt will be made by Council Rangers to locate the owner of the illegally dumped materials.
Your help in reporting information relating to illegally dumped materials is important.
Council Rangers will monitor and regulate any unauthorised activities and structures on public land.
Unauthorised activities, structures and articles can be hazardous to the public and cause damage to infrastructure.
Your help in reporting information relating to unauthorised activities is important.
Overgrown and Untidy Properties
Property owners are responsible for ensuring that their property is maintained and does not provide a place for vermin to live and breed. This means keeping properties free of long grass and vegetation, as well as waste.
Properties must be maintained so that they do not become so untidy such they create a threat to public health and safety.
Problems between neighbours about overgrown or untidy premises are generally matters to be resolved between the owners.
Where circumstances exist that are within Council's jurisdiction, Council will investigate and may take further action to enforce the property clean up. However, where there is not a threat to public health and safety that falls within Council's jurisdictional powers Council will not take further action.
In some cases, the situation may be within Council's jurisdiction but the circumstances are not such that they warrant further action by Council.
What is an overgrown property?
- To be considered an overgrown property for the purposes of Council action the property must be located in an urban area. Properties on the edge of the urban area or in rural or rural residential areas are expected to have circumstances with longer grasses or vegetation and may not warrant action.
- For Council to take action the circumstances must exist that are within Council's powers or jurisdiction. This includes circumstances such as the property is likely to be harbourage for, or is home to, vermin, and/or is likely to create unsafe or unhealthy conditions that impact on others.
Vermin does not include any native fauna, including snakes. The presence or potential for snakes does NOT create circumstance that are within Council's powers to take action.
Evidence of vermin can include rodent sightings, faeces, nests, runs, eggs etc. The standard that there is a harbourage to vermin is high and circumstances must be clearly present. There must be a significant risk to public health and safety to warrant Council taking legal action which incurs significant legal costs
- If you are concerned that the condition of the vegetation on a property poses a fire hazard, please contact the Rural Fire Service via their website.
- An 'untidy' property does not necessarily mean that the property is unsafe or a public health risk or that Council has other powers within its jurisdiction to take action or that circumstances warrant the taking of formal legal action.
- The legal processes involved in enforcement action may take several years to pursue through the Land and Environment Court if legal action is warranted.
- Trees or other significant vegetation on neighbouring properties having an impact, including damage to buildings, or dropping of limbs or leaves on properties are not considered overgrown properties and are not within Council's jurisdiction to control. The Tree (Disputes between Neighbours) Act 2006 provides a resolution process for this type of issue through civil proceedings. Council has no role in these matters.
What can I do?
Often property owners are unaware that their lack of property maintenance is causing a problem. Usually the owners are happy to address the problem that is impacting on neighbouring and surrounding landowners after being notified.
Council encourages residents to talk to their neighbours, where possible, about the problem and to seek a mutually suitable solution. Please note that Council is unable to release property contact details.
What can Council do?
Council has certain powers under the Local Government Act to take action in a limited set of circumstances. The circumstances that are set out in the legislation must exist and be able to be proven to enable Council to take enforcement action.
If you contact Council, the following steps will generally be taken:
- If the complaint received indicates that the property is a fire risk Council will advise you to refer the matter to the NSW Rural Fire Service. Council has no powers to act under the Rural Fires Act.
The RFS will respond in accordance with their policy and procedures. Council has no power to force them to act.
- If the complaint relates to matters under Council's jurisdiction such as harbourage of vermin or the unsightly nature of the property, Council will send an initial letter to the property owner. This will advise them of the concerns raised about their property and that Council will be inspecting the property.
Council will inspect and assess the property to determine whether the conditions are such that it justifies Council taking further legal enforcement action.
- If Council does not deem the property to be unhealthy or unsafe, you will be advised that Council will take no further action. The property owner will also be advised that Council will be taking no further action.
- Where it is determined that there are conditions existing on the site that are within Council's jurisdiction however, they are not sufficient to warrant formal legal action, the property owner will be asked to take some action to alleviate the concerns of their surrounding neighbours. This letter is considered a courtesy letter only and no further action will be taken by Council.
- Where it is determined that further action by Council is warranted the owner will be requested to take action to rectify the issue and Council will monitor with further inspections.
- If the property owner fails to adequately address the circumstances, Council will continue to engage with the property owner to attempt to find a resolution to the issue.
- If the matter remains unresolved Council will need to determine whether it is in the public interest to take formal legal action. Council must consider all the relevant factors including the any relevant legal advice, relevant enforcement policy and the potential cost benefit of the legal action before making its decision.