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3 - Tuesday, March 1, 2016
PET BAITING SUSPECTED
Family warns of poison danger
Lauren Hropic, 19, of Banks, holds three-year-old blue heeler Luci after the death of the family's other
dog Chuko (inset).
It s been a dark few weeks for the
Hropic family, who are still trying
to come to terms with the poisoning
of their 10-year-old dog, Chuko.
The family from Banks spent
$5200 trying to keep their labrador-
collie alive but, after several
gruelling days, watched him slip
away at the Animal Referral
Hospital in Fyshwick on Friday,
Dolores Hropic said veterinary
staff confirmed Chuko had ingested
a form of rat bait but said
unfortunately the damage had
already been done .
She said no bait of any kind was
kept in their home and, confident
the dog s death was the result of
foul play, reported the incident to
police and then Domestic Animals
While RSPCA ACT investigates
the claim of malicious poisoning
she has come forward to tell her
difficult story to ensure animal
owners across the capital are on
Chuko was my daughter s best
friend, and now he s gone we don t
want it to be for nothing, Mrs
I just want everyone to know
this is happening and to remain
Lauren Hropic, 19, said Chuko s
death had taken a toll on everyone,
but most heartbreaking to watch
was how it had impacted their
second dog, Luci.
She will wait at the door when
we come home to see if Chuko is
behind us and walks around the
backyard aimlessly sniffing and
trying to find him, she said.
We are all just completely
devastated our beautiful dog has
been taken away from us in such a
horrific way and someone else
decided to cut his life short.
RSPCA ACT senior inspector
Catherine Croatto said the Hropic
family s report was the first her
team had received about pet baiting
The vet examination was
inconclusive as to how this dog
died, she said. Obviously
without evidence or leads these
cases can be difficult to deal with.
She said in every case owners
had to have a veterinary
examination done and if necessary
a post mortem to ascertain what the
animal was poisoned with.
From there it has to be
established if this was a deliberate
act, she said. If no one has any
ideas as to who the offender is then
and monitor future complaints in
the hope we can link them or
ascertain those responsible.
Three cases of dog baiting were
reported and investigated by
RSPCA ACT in 2015. All were
inconclusive and none prosecuted.
RSPCA ACT encouraged the
public to relay information to their
inspectors so the organisation was
in the best position to corroborate
ACT SUPPORTS SAFE SCHOOLS
A social media movement supporting the Safe
Schools Coalition has taken off in Canberra.
On Friday, people gathered in Garema Place
taking photos with an I need safe schools
because sign and posting messages of support.
Since Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
announced a review into the $8 million national
program more than 2500 people have liked the
#ineedsafeschools Facebook page.
MOUNT AINSLIE LOOKOUT
Dramatic revamp designed for summit
An image from the Mount Ainslie design submission by Sue Barnsley and Jane Irwin.
The summit of Canberra s
Mount Ainslie will undergo a
significant reorientation and
return to nature if the winning
entry in an open design
competition comes to fruition.
A circular lookout could be
built within five years, with
new parking, entry signage,
picnic areas, lawns and
plantings also included by
designers Sue Barnsley and
The pair won the
competition, announced in
December by the ACT
government and National
The summit would better
engage with the natural
ridgeline, better frame views
over Canberra and reduce
concrete and paving.
Ms Irwin said the plans
would bring a more dramatic
sense of the view from the
It will be tighter and
higher, poking further out into
the view. You will get a much
more physical experience,
It is really about Griffin s
idea of how the city is
connected to nature. This is the
spot where you see that
connect but when you are on
the summit now, you really
don t experience it.
You will get a much closer
experience of the bush.
Ms Barnsley said the
extended lookout would
restore views envisaged in the
original Griffin plan for
At the moment the view is
kind of distorted and you don t
know exactly where the two
summits intersect along
Griffin s land axis. The
lookout would mark that spot
in a really strong way.
The visitor experience will
be heightened. It is a matter of
improving the facilities . . .
focusing the view and making
a series of gathering spots
threaded around the whole of
the summit and allowing more
picnicking on the west side,
making grass and meadows
around the car park.
The plans could be
completed at one time if the
two governments provide
enough money, Ms Barnsley
said. Otherwise it could be
built in instalments.
Minister for Transport and
Municipal Services Meegan
Fitzharris said three entrants
were shortlisted and assessed
by a panel of jurors from the
Australian Institute of
Landscape Architects, the
National Capital Authority and
Territory and Municipal
The two other finalists were
Canberra firm Redbox Design
Group and Western Australia s
Blackwell and Associates.
The designs by the three
finalists will go on display at
the Civic Library until
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