Residents are barking mad

COFFS Harbour residents who complain about barking dogs may as well buy ear muffs, according to a Sawtell man frustrated at the bureaucratic process he faces to get some peace and quiet.

When Colin Tuckwell contacted Coffs Harbour City Council to complain about a dog barking in his neighbourhood, he was amazed by a reply that was six pages long and a request that he keep a diary of incidences of 'offensive noise'.

The diary - which council said must also be filled out by at least one other neighbour - must contain time, date and duration of the barking, a description of the 'intensity' of the barking, and written verification that the offending canine has been identified by breed and colouring.

“They expect me to find someone else to fill out a diary that would take me and them weeks, possibly months to complete,” Mr Tuckwell said.

“Am I supposed to be peeking over people's fences like a peeping tom to identify their dogs?”

A spokesperson for Coffs Harbour City Council said the diary assists the ranger in determining the extent and possible cause of the barking.

“The reason for asking for this 'diary' to be kept is so that it can possibly be offered in court as evidence at a later date,” the spokesperson said.

“If the court does not feel the evidence is justified, then the case will be lost and the problem won't be resolved.”

But Mr Tuckwell said he's had enough of 'ludicrous' council rules and regulations.

“It doesn't matter who you are or where you live, you have the right to live in peace and quiet,” he said.

“My suggestion to anyone else going through this ridiculous process is to not bother complaining - go out and buy a pair of industrial quality ear muffs,

it's the only way you'll get

peace.”



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