Cats and dogs in the sanctuary

Generic image of bushland in Ballarat

At the ordinary June Meeting, Council supported and approved an amendment to allow Sanctuary Estate (Mount Helen) residents to have cats and dogs on their property.  

The amendment to the Section 173 restriction on property titles was approved noting that cats must be secured and kept within the boundary of private lots and are not permitted to roam free beyond the private lots. The amendment also permits dogs beyond private boundaries but must be on a lead within the estate.  

The application was made on behalf of 48 property owners in Sanctuary Estate in Mount Helen.  

The application was lodged with the City of Ballarat on 21 December 2022. Fourteen submissions were received regarding the application, three in support of the application and eleven objections.  

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said that while koala protection is incredibly important, so too is allowing people to keep pets.  

“Councillors thought this was a clunky piece of planning and we ultimately voted to support the amendment to align with our Local Planning Policy and Environmental Significance Overlay – Schedule 5, Koala and Koala Habitat Protection,” he said.  

Separate from the assessment, the City of Ballarat is involved in an enforcement matter at VCAT regarding the keeping of cats and dogs in this estate. A third party sought action against the landowners and residents of the estate, for breaching the Section 173 Agreement by housing cats and dogs.

The matter is listed for an Administrative Mention at the Victorian Civil Administrative Appeals Tribunal on 3 July 2023, when the City of Ballarat will update on whether a decision has been made on this planning application.  

For more information on responsible pet ownership, please visit the City of Ballarat’s website here.