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170 animals on brink of homelessness as Council fee brings rescue to its knees

Article image for 170 animals on brink of homelessness as Council fee brings rescue to its knees

Up to 170 animals could soon be turned out of their sanctuary due to an insurmountable requirement by Brisbane City Council. 

Burbank animal sanctuary Deathrow Unchained has been dealt a $45,312 fee in order to continue operating.

According to Council, the property has been unlawfully used for animal keeping, and requires the hefty sum as part of an application to change the property’s use.

Now, Council has withdrawn the application, and therefore removed the option for the rescue to pay, even if they did have the money.

Deathrow Unchained founder Kate Bijkerk says the sanctuary doesn’t make nearly enough to pay the bill, and what they do earn goes back to the animals.

“The biggest thing I would ask for is we get the fee reviewed and a reasonable amount … and giving us time to pay it,” Ms Bijkerk told Scott Emerson.

“$45,000, what we could give back to the community for that amount; wouldn’t that be better spent helping the community?”

Ms Bijkerk said she fears if the sanctuary was forced to close, “we could be literally homeless with 170 animals and 150 volunteers”.

Press PLAY below to hear about the sanctuary’s role in the community

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has promised to find a solution to the issue, and has ordered an urgent review.

He agreed the fee is “significantly high” for a community organisation.

“We understand this is a community service they’re providing and so we’re going to work through the issues with them.

“It’s just a matter of they were operating without a permit.

“Like I said, we’ll sort it out, Scott. We want to see them continue doing their good work.”

Press PLAY below to hear the Lord Mayor’s full response 

Image: Kate Bijkerk / Instagram

Scott Emerson
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