1.1. The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA 1992) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability who has an assistance animal, subject to certain exemptions.
1.2. Section 9(2) of the DDA 1992 identifies an assistance animal as:
For the purposes of this Act, an assistance animal is a dog or other animal:
1.3. Section 54A of that Act sets out the exemptions to that right of access.
(7) This part does not affect the liability of a person for damage to property caused by an assistance animal.
1.4. The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries provides an accreditation system for assistance animals in Western Australia under the provisions of the Dog Act 1976, with the authorisation card that is issued providing evidence
that the dog is “accredited under a law of a State or Territory that provides for the accreditation of animals trained to assist a persons with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability”.
1.5. This policy outlines the requirements and process for gaining such an accreditation.
2.1. A dog which has been accredited under another law of a State or Territory has public access rights in Western Australia.
2.2. If the handler intends to reside in Western Australia for an extended period of time or permanently, the handler should provide evidence of the approval to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). If satisfied with the evidence provided, the CEO can grant
a Western Australian authorisation card.
3.1. The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) shall provide a fair and unbiased assessment of all applications made under section 8(4) of the Dog Act 1976.
3.2. All applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
3.3. A dog which is registered with the relevant local government pursuant to the Dog Act 1976 may be considered for an Assistance Dog approval. However a dog that is a dangerous dog under Part VI, Division 2 of the Dog Act 1976 because it has been declared
a dangerous dog by a local government, or is a dangerous dog (restricted breed) or a commercial security dog, will not be eligible for an approval.
3.4. A dog will generally not be considered for approval unless it is at least one year of age, subject to the discretion of the CEO.
3.5. In assessing an application, DLGSC shall consider the safety of Public Transport Authority employees and the safety and comfort of members of the public.
3.6. The two types of Assistance Dog approvals that may be granted are a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval or a Full Assistance Dog Approval.
3.7. All applicants must obtain a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval before being considered for a Full Assistance Dog Approval unless determined otherwise by the CEO.
4.1. Application Form — means the application form for a Full Assistance Dog Approval or Renewal.
4.2. Assistance Dog — means any dog that has been approved by the CEO as provided for in section 8(4) of the Dog Act 1976, which has been specifically trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of the disability
and meets the standards of hygiene and behaviour that are appropriate for a dog in a public place.
4.3. Authorisation Card — means an authorisation card given when an Assistance Dog Approval has been granted.
4.4. Authorised Person — means a person who is in charge of or has authority over a public place or public transport.
4.5. BOA — means a Behaviour and Obedience Assessment undertaken by an Independent Public Access Test Assessor to determine if a dog displays the appropriate behaviour suitable for public access on a probationary basis.
4.6. Cardholder — means a person who is issued with the Assistance Dog authorisation card.
4.7. CEO — means the Director General of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
4.8. DLGSC — means the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
4.9. Full Assistance Dog Approval — means an Assistance Dog approval granted to a dog who has successfully completed a PAT.
4.10. Independent Public Access Test Assessor — means an assessor who has been approved by the CEO.
4.11. Probationary Assistance Dog Application Form — means the application form to apply for a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval.
4.12. Probationary Assistance Dog Approval — means an approval granted to a dog which has completed a BOA.
4.13. PAT — means a Public Access Test administered by an Independent Public Access Test Assessor to assess whether a dog meets the standards of behaviour that are appropriate for a dog in a public place.
4.14. Suspension period — means a period of time where a card is suspended to account for a change in Cardholder/Assistance Dog circumstances, or as a result of a breach of any condition of this Policy or conditions imposed on the
grant of the approval.
5.1. All applications for Assistance Dogs must include the following:
5.2. All supporting documentation will be current and not dated further back than one month from the submission date of the application.
5.3. Where an application is not in the correct form or lacks required information, the DLGSC will attempt to work with the applicant to rectify any defect prior to advising the CEO to reject an application.
6.1. Additional conditions and limitations may be placed on any approval at any time, at the discretion of the CEO.
6.2. An Assistance Dog approval may be amended or revoked at any time by the CEO. All effort will be made to work with the cardholder before an approval is revoked.
6.3. A person can only have one approved Assistance Dog at any time.
6.4. An Assistance Dog approval is applicable in Western Australia (WA). The approval itself may not provide public access rights in any other State or Territory and is not provided for that purpose.
6.5. Approval will provide the dog and named handler, access to any building or place open to or used by the public, for any purpose, or in any public transport.
6.6. Following an approval, the photograph of the dog and handler will be placed onto an authorisation card which must be carried on the named handler at all times when in public places with the Assistance Dog. If requested, new photos must be submitted
to DLGSC if deemed necessary for identification purposes.
6.7. Assistance Dogs must be clearly identified by a suitably marked Assistance Dog coat or harness.
6.8. An Assistance Dog that only has a collar and lead is not deemed as being clearly identified.
6.9. Access may be refused to a public area or public transport if:
6.10. An Assistance Dog approval does not guarantee access to cabin travel for an assistance dog on airlines. Each airline has their own policy and applicants are expected to discuss air travel with the relevant carrier at the time of making travel arrangements.
6.11. An Assistance Dog approval does not exempt a dog from any leash requirements imposed under the Dog Act 1976.
6.12. A Probationary Assistance Dog Approval may be granted when a dog has undertaken and passed a BOA.
6.13. An authorisation card for a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval will be valid for six months from the date of issue, with an extension of time only being granted at the discretion of the CEO, subject to the satisfaction of any conditions given
with the approval.
6.14. A Cardholder who is the subject of a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval will be subject to the following conditions:
6.15. A failure to satisfy any condition during a probationary period may cause an authorisation card to be revoked, suspended or the assessment of a Full Assistance Dog Approval at the completion of a probationary period to be jeopardised.
6.16. To provide continuation of coverage, a Cardholder who is the subject of a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval must complete and submit to DLGSC an “Assistance Dog Renewal Application Form” no later than two weeks before their authorisation
card expires to enable an assessment of eligibility to receive a Full Assistance Dog Approval.
6.17. Subject to the discretion of the CEO, an applicant must obtain a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval prior to being eligible for a Full Assistance Dog Approval.
6.18. An authorisation card for a Full Assistance Dog Approval will be valid for two years, or as otherwise specified at the time of approval.
6.19. If an application is made for a Full Assistance Dog Approval and it is not granted, all public access rights granted under a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval will cease. Resubmission of a rejected application can be made at the discretion of
6.20. A suspension period may apply during a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval if there has been a change in circumstances of a Cardholder/Assistance Dog that requires public access rights to be temporarily suspended.
6.21. A suspension period may be voluntarily implemented by a Cardholder (or guardian/agent of the Cardholder on their behalf) or determined by the CEO.
6.22. The decision for a probationary period to recommence after a suspension period will be made at the discretion of the CEO.
6.23. If a Probationary Assistance Dog Approval is recommenced after a period of suspension, a new card will be issued to the Cardholder.
6.24. The cardholder should report any loss or illegibility of an authorisation card to DLGSC immediately, so a replacement can be arranged. An authorisation card must be on the person granted approval at all times when in public places or in public transport
with the Assistance Dog. Without an authorisation card, a person may not be granted public access rights.
6.25. If an authorisation card is revoked or suspended, it is no longer valid and is cancelled effective immediately from the date of revocation or suspension. An Authorised Person may enquire as to whether a card is currently revoked or suspended.
6.26. A revoked or suspended card must be returned to DLGSC within 2 weeks of the notice of revocation or suspension.
6.27. A renewal of an authorisation card can only be obtained if an “Assistance Dog Renewal Application Form” is completed and submitted to DLGSC.
6.28. A renewal form is to be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the expiration of an authorisation card to facilitate continuity of coverage.
6.29. Public access rights granted by the DLGSC will be suspended if an assessment of a renewal form is still being undertaken after the expiration of an authorisation card, though these access rights will reactivate if the renewal is approved.
6.30. An authorisation card that is renewed will be valid for the period of time determined by the CEO.
6.31. A renewal will be for a period of two years, or at the discretion of the CEO, any length of time up to a maximum of five years.
6.32. In determining the length of a renewal period, the CEO will have regard to:
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