Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park, VIC

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Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park, VIC

Post by Lorgar » 09 Aug 2017, 12:03 pm

As fellow dog owners who like to travel with their dogs will know, there are many places where dogs are off limits (often for seemingly no other reason than where somebody arbitrarily drew line drawn on a map or stuck a sign in the sand).

I was prompted to look into this in a bit more detail as part of a trip some friends and I have planned for the weekend.

For those not in the know about Victoria, dogs are allowed in State Forest, they are not allowed National Park, the exception being you can take them through NP if "the dog is confined in a vehicle that is in transit".

Our plan is to head into State Forest, but due to the gerrymandering of maps outlining what's State Forest vs what's National Park here in Victoria, it turned out one of our intended stops was a point of National Park sticking into the Forest.

Out of curiosity I decided to look up what the fine was for taking a dog into a Park (for those not familiar, fines are dealt in penalty units. In Victoria at the moment 1 penalty unit is $158.57).

The disproportionate penalties for many of our laws is something that's always irked me, but I've reached a new level of *facepalm* this morning.

Here's a little sample for comparison (Sources: Victoria Legal Aid, National Parks Act 2013, Vic Roads)

Shoplifting
2 units - $317 fine

Refusing a Police order to move on from a public place
2 units - $317 fine

Drive a motor vehicle with BAC of 0.14 or more but less than 0.15g/100 ml
4 units - $634 fine

Driving 45km/h + over the limit
5 units - $793 penalty

Failing to give way at a level crossing (to a train)
5 units - $793 penalty

An employee who serves alcohol to a minor
10 units - $1,586 fine

Drunk and behaving in a riotous or disorderly manner
10 units - $1,586 fine


Now, guess what the fine is for having a dog in a national Park?

15 units - $2,378 fine :wtf:

So... Steal, ignore police, get pissed and drive like a demon, play chicken with a train, give alcohol to kids, go on a drunk riot in public; that's all frowned upon.

But f*** me, don't let your dog out on a leash in a National Park to stretch their legs for 2 minutes. They take that s**t seriously! :roll:
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Gwion » 09 Aug 2017, 1:55 pm

Absolutely crazy!

Although, one would hope that some individual discretion is applied by rangers and other authorities and that this is just the MAX allowed to be imposed on those obviously doing the wrong thing.
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by bigfellascott » 09 Aug 2017, 2:47 pm

Cheaper to steal the "No Dogs Signs" going by the looks of that :D
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by duncan61 » 09 Aug 2017, 2:53 pm

Its not impossible to not do any of them things
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by SendIt » 09 Aug 2017, 3:08 pm

Lorgar wrote:Failing to give way at a level crossing (to a train)


I think that one will sort itself out quickly enough without the need for a fine :lol:
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Tiger650 » 09 Aug 2017, 7:41 pm

The people who live in inner Melbourne and thereabouts who think up these penalties are cat people.
Catamites mostly.
I wonder that since cats are are a pestilence and plague for endangered native marsupials is there a similar penalty for Osgood and Cecil if they take their "fur child" predator Cedric into a Nat Park ?
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by happyhunter » 09 Aug 2017, 9:22 pm

The irony is the law bans hunters from hunting feral dogs in national parks so in effect feral dogs are protected.
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by on_one_wheel » 09 Aug 2017, 10:04 pm

One excuse I've been waiting to use is ... "this is my assistance dog, he tells me when I'm about to slip into a psychotic rage episode"
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Lorgar » 09 Aug 2017, 10:24 pm

Gwion wrote:one would hope that some individual discretion is applied by rangers and other authorities and that this is just the MAX allowed to be imposed on those obviously doing the wrong thing.


Possibly, but unless discretion in the number of units issued is covered in some other piece of legislation that's not how it reads.

In the National Park Regulations it says, and I quote, "Penalty: 15 penalty units."

There is no mention of anything along the lines of 'up to', 'maximum' or 'discretion'.

Thinking of some of the other examples like speeding tickets or maybe running a red light. I suspect most of us will have had one of these at some point, anyone ever got one where the officer gave a smaller penalty based on their discretion? No, right? The penalty is what it is. For those offences anyway.

I would hope that I'm wrong, but how else can you interpret that other than then penalty is 15 units. It's pretty unambiguous.

Someone jump in if I am and you know differently.
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by duncan61 » 09 Aug 2017, 11:09 pm

I have been reading up on parks in Victoria.Pets and firearms are not permitted in Alfred National Park. I assume it states the same thing for all of them like no fishing in marine sanctuaries.Pets kind of covers everything.Is it not possible to not take pets and let them out in the park.I think the govt just trying to preserve some nice areas
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by doc » 10 Aug 2017, 8:54 am

duncan61 wrote:I have been reading up on parks in Victoria.Pets and firearms are not permitted in Alfred National Park. I assume it states the same thing for all of them like no fishing in marine sanctuaries.Pets kind of covers everything.Is it not possible to not take pets and let them out in the park.I think the govt just trying to preserve some nice areas


I don't think the OP's issue is surrounding the law that says no dogs in national parks. I think it's about the disproportionate penalties and the message it gives out.

According to the fines, the message I see is that the government believes it's almost 4 times more worse to let your dog out of the car for a stretch whilst driving through a NP than to drive a motor vehicle with BAC up to .15 (3x the legal limit) and risk other peoples lives.

Sure - fine someone for doing the wrong thing in a NP I have no issues with that - but make the penalties suit the crime.
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Oldbloke » 10 Aug 2017, 12:58 pm

The out is out ragious. I wonder what it is if you stop and have a pee up against a tree?

Shut, did I just dob myself in?
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Flash » 12 Aug 2017, 3:57 pm

Gwion wrote:Absolutely crazy!

Although, one would hope that some individual discretion is applied by rangers and other authorities and that this is just the MAX allowed to be imposed on those obviously doing the wrong thing.



Many moons ago, as a kid, my family stayed in one of the survival huts around Aberfeldy and we had our German Shepherd with us. While staying there a ranger came, saw the dog, and asked how long we were staying. Pretty much said, just keep it on a leash while you're in the National Park and he's out of the cabin.

Those were the days when you were given a heads up, told it was wrong, but also, you weren't penalized if you were generally trying to do the right thing. (>20yrs ago)
These days, it seems everyone is an authoritarian, and if they can screw you over just for the hell of it, they will.

It was an interesting trip. Going from icy slush in Aberfeldy to 35C in Southern NSW as we headed North in search of pigs for the freezer.
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Gwion » 12 Aug 2017, 5:51 pm

Had a similar experience on the other side of the divide (nth east Vic) in the same era (circa 1994).
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by KennyA » 13 Aug 2017, 5:16 am

Sounds like a state that is run by the GREENS.
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Chronos » 13 Aug 2017, 9:41 am

Seems Appropriate, now add a zero to the rest of the fines :thumbsup:

KennyA wrote:Sounds like a state that is run by the GREENS.


Hahahaha, except they have probably the best public land hunting laws in the country

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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Dunxy » 13 Aug 2017, 9:54 am

I'm not surprised!
Seems stealing cars and aggravated robberies/home invasions don't even bring gaol time these days,heaven forbid one should take a dog into a national park, oh the humanity!
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Re: Ridiculous penalty for taking dogs into a National Park,

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Aug 2017, 10:11 am

I think dogs should be on a lead only in NPs. Trouble is there is always a few who would ignore that.
It's the other laws/fines that are too low.
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