Some Tasmanian councils have become so defiantly arrogant that they sabotage elements of the state’s barking laws to suit themselves in order to deter the legitimate complainant from seeking relief according to the provisions of law. Councils hate barking complaints because there are no practical definitions of what actually constitutes the offence. (You can read about this omission elsewhere in this website)   This loathing of complaints makes councils wary of all barking problems and they commonly resort to illicit behaviour to deny involvement. One trick is to pretend there’s really no barking problem at all and that there’s therefore nothing to investigate. Another trick is to disparage the complainant’s allegations and thus his credibility. Yet another trick is to delay investigating the matter for as long as they can. This dereliction of duty can be implemented by offering hollow excuses all of which may be specious. Nobody stops this illicit behaviour because it suits those further up the chain such as council managers, and it saves costs. These recalcitrant employees simply don’t care about human suffering and prefer to treat the barking victim as the nuisance rather than the dog’s owner. The Tasmanian government does not care either, indeed the Local Government Association has cynically contrived with councils to wilfully frustrate the legitimate complainant so much, and/or so often, that in his tormented despair he eventually gives up seeking lawful relief. No wonder some tortured victims of barking quietly kill the dog! These evil council schemes to deny duty sometimes works perfectly. Hereunder are several examples of just how well ... Mrs H.L. of Grindelwald ... In recent years this elderly pensioner lady lodged five Barking Complaints with the West Tamar Council and on each occasion paid the council’s Fee of $20. (Councils are authorised to charge a fee, although it’s not mandatory, for the purpose of deterring the frivolous or vexatious complainant. The amount varies with each council. Payment of a Barking Complain Fee then legally obliges a council to investigate the complainant’s allegation of barking nuisance. A fee may be retained by a council if the complainant’s allegation is deemed to “lack substance.”) On every occasion this lady’s Fee was retained by the WTC on the grounds that her complaints upon investigation were deemed unsubstantiated. Despite repeated requests for the refund of these fees, the WTC absolutely refuses. It now regards Mrs Lettau as a nuisance complainant and refuses to return her phone calls to its Animal management Officer. This refusal occurs despite the fact that its so-called investigations were not based on the lady’s allegation of barking during the course of each investigation, but on all the barking that had occurred prior to the lodgement of each of her her formal complaints. The West Tamar council cannot know that the substance of her complaints lacked merit unless it had been continuously monitoring the premises allegedly containing the barking dogs. This NEVER happens because councils don’t secure the available resources to do it - such as through fining offenders according to the legislation set up for exactly that purpose. Councils wilfully deny themselves the means to do what is required of them and what in so many cases really needs doing. You can read more about councils’ illicit retention of Barking Complaint Fees  Mr A.C. of Warrane ... In 2008 this elderly pensioner, the carer of his mentally handicapped wife and continuously distressed by years of barking and noise in his area, lodged another Barking Complaint with the Clarence City Council and paid the council’s exhorbitant Fee of $65. (This particular Fee, the highest in the state, was maliciously set to deter barking complaints. The person who initiated this illicit proposal in 2004 at a high level meeting of southern Tasmania officials discussing such matters, was Mr Alan Garcia of the Local Government Association. Mr C was present without invitation and can vouch for this report of events. Representatives of other councils at this meeting did not act on this cruel suggestion but Clarence City Council officers did.) An animal control officer of this council duly “investigated” Mr C’s allegations of barking nuisance but through inexperience, fouled it up. Despite this, the council’s Customer Service Officer sent a letter to Mr C containing the following .. “Dear Mr. C, “Investigation into alleged nuisance - xx Amundsen Crescent “An investigation has been carried out in regard to a formal complaint you made about a barking dog nuisance from the dog located at  xx Amundsen Crescent in Warrane. “Council's City Ranger surveyed nearby residents and monitored the property regarding your complaint about barking. “Taking into account this information, the Ranger's observations, and your diary of events, I have concluded that the dog is not barking to the extent that it could be deemed a nuisance, under the Dog Control Act 2000. “As your complaint was found not to have substance, your application fee of $65 will not be refunded.”  Seeking a refund of his $65 fee, Mr C subsequently met with the so-called Customer Service Officer: "Mr Toohey told me that there would need to be at least a three month interval between "resolution" of my last complaint and making a new one.” Here we have another example of a council making up rules to suit itself, rules that have no backing in the provisions of the Dog Control Act 2000. (Mr C’s fee was later fully refunded on the grounds of hardship due to his pensioner status.) You can read more about councils’ illicit retention of Barking Complaint Fees