Website keeps officers up-to-dateFormed in 1988, Victoria’s South West Authorised Officers Group promotes consistent practices in local laws and animal management and provides council officers with a voice at the state level, ensuring better legislation and codes of practice.
The South West Authorised Officers (S.W.A.O.G) meets several times at year at various locations in the southwest region of Victoria and is currently coordinated by a committee of management.
Since the humble beginnings of the group, S.W.A.O.G is now responsible for the creation and oversight of the ‘VicRangers’ website, a portal that is accessed by 53 councils and 200 members throughout Victoria.
The site provides an excellent tool for officers in a number of different ways. Issues that arise in relation to their roles as officers can be discussed in chat forums; officers can stay informed as to changes in codes of practice and legislation; and the site also contains a help area of contacts for all officers.
The website is administered by officers from Mount Alexander Shire Council, Hindmarsh Shire Council, Yarriambiack Shire Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Colac Otway Shire Council and Surf Coast Shire Council.
Membership to the site is free of charge and is open to any compliance officer who operates either within the state or outside of Victoria. Current membership also includes officers from New South Wales and from other related government organisations.
The website is well supported by the Bureau of Animal Welfare, which supplies up-to-date information on legislative changes and requirements. It is also supported by the EPA, RSPCA and other private businesses that operate within the industry. This support includes financial sponsorship of the site, which means that the membership is free to officers.
To join VicRangers visit: http://vicrangers.com.au