Topics:  gympie regional council, petition, theebine

Public threaten legal action if Council won't act on strays

Theebine residents chase a stray bull from their backyard.
Theebine residents chase a stray bull from their backyard.

STRAY cattle and dogs are terrorising elderly residents and school children at Theebine and the locals have had enough, threatening to take legal action against Gympie Regional Council if it fails to stop it.

Residents signed a petition which was tabled at a council meeting this week, calling on it to take action against the owner of the animals, who they say repeatedly lets the cattle out to graze in the town precinct.

Resident Adam Jones said the Theebine Primary School headmaster had been forced to remove the cattle from the schoolyards for the safety of children, and was then told by a council officer that doing so made him liable if the cattle caused an accident.

"Of primary concern is the threat to public road safety, especially in the vicinity of a primary school," Mr Jones said.

"A number of cattle roam unrestrained across public roads with the potential to cause a fatality," he said.

A bull loose in a Theebine front yard.
A bull loose in a Theebine front yard.

Parents dropping children off to the school on foggy mornings had to dodge cattle on the road.

Mr Jones said the cattle were normally kept in a backyard in the township, but were often grazing railway land, including active railway lines, with fences erected without permission from rail authorities.

"Some of these fences are tied off to street signs," he said.

Residents as old as 97 had been affected by the animals, he said. "The council officers have thus far been unable to impound the cattle," he said.

Unrestrained dogs have also been seen killing sheep on two properties, Mr Jones said.

Theebine residents say this sheep was attacked by dogs.
Theebine residents say this sheep was attacked by dogs.

The petition containing 19 signatures asked the council to "permanently remove dangerous cattle from public roads and easements" in Kilkivan and to "seize the dogs observed to have attacked and killed four sheep in the past several weeks".

"This petition is a formal complaint on behalf of the residents of Theebine, who are concerned no action has been taken regarding these matters despite repeated complaints to council and police," it read.

"Should Gympie council still refuse to act, the matter will be reviewed for further legal advice and taken to the media."

The council has referred the complaint to its community services director.



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