A NEW regional animal shelter is set to replace the recently upgraded Gillies Street pound.
A proposal to establish a new shelter in Ballarat and close the current premises will be discussed at Wednesday night’s Ballarat City Council meeting.
Ballarat mayor Joshua Morris said it was time to consider the pound’s future, which RSPCA Victoria currently operates.
“We’ve identified there will be a need for another shelter for Ballarat and surrounding areas,” Cr Morris said.
“Like many old buildings, the Gillies Street premises will eventually come to an end of life; it is possible to upgrade, but economically it is better to build a new facility.”
If the recommendation goes ahead, the current Gillies Street South animal shelter will be deconstructed regardless of significant recent upgrades to the building.
“The upgrades are just to maintain the building so that it’s practical to use of current, we won’t be putting additional funds in ...” Cr Morris said.
Maintenance on the Gillies Street shelter was carried out after it was found to be non-compliant with health and safety standards last year.
Works on the building, including replacement doors, installation of steel sheet panels to cage doors, ventilation system servicing and re-sealing the floor surface were completed last month, costing thousands of dollars.
During that same period, the RSPCA had put forward a new tender to continue running the animal shelter after Victorian Animal Aid Trust backed out of a deal that awarded the group a three-year pound services tender.
RSPCA, who has been running the facility for the past 45 years, continued on as the pound’s operator while the council considered options for the shelter.
A recommendation to approve the awarding of a three-year animal shelter and pound services tender to
the RSPCA will also be discussed at Wednesday night’s meeting.
While it isn’t known where the new shelter would be located, or how much it would cost, planning and design of the new site will begin if the recommendation goes ahead.