Staff health and safety concerns as well as statutory compliance issues at Wingecarribee Animal Shelter will be investigated as part of an independent review.
Interim administrator Viv May opted for the independent review into the shelter at an Extraordinary Meeting of Council on June 23.
The review will address statutory obligations, the role of volunteer groups, and work health and safety concerns for the shelter.
In the meeting, Mr May said he "didn't think" the council was complying with statutory obligations for the animal shelter.
"If you are not complying with the statutory obligations you are not adhering with the law," he said.
"The council's obligations in relation to work health and safety for employees also fails at this site.
"Something needs to happen urgently."
A preliminary review conducted by council staff highlighted a number of issues and challenges currently impacting operation of the shelter.
According to council papers the key issues relate to: Statutory compliance, council policy compliance, volunteer groups and an expired Memorandum of Understanding between the Friends of the Wingecarribee Animal Shelter (FOWAS) and registered council volunteers, the operational model and level of service, and Work Health and Safety concerns for staff.
A report from the council in 2020 acknowledged the shelter's less-than-ideal conditions including problems with vermin, green waste, dust and fire risks are ongoing for staff, visitors, volunteers and the animals.
In November 2020 the council earmarked land at Bowman Road in Moss Vale to construct a new animal shelter.
Mr May said he had "been asking a lot of questions about the animal shelter", but did not "want to devalue the work the volunteers do there".
"I like to think I could be part of the decision process to take another issue away from the election, so it won't become an election issue.
"[The independent report will create] a level playing field for the council to understand its roles and responsibilities in operating the pound, which clearly they are not adhering to."
A council spokesperson said operations would continue as normal at the shelter, including the working relationship with FOWAS, until the report was returned to council with any recommendations.
FOWAS members will release a statement over the weekend.
The review is expected to be completed before council elections in September.
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