(11am, Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter, 8 Production Rd, Taren Point)
Thank you, Kathryn, [Lord, Sutherland Shire Council]. Good morning, everyone.
And I'd also like to acknowledge Mayor Kent Johns, and also all the shelter staff and volunteers here today - you're doing a fantastic job.
The relationship between Sutherland Shire and the City of Sydney goes back to 2009, when the Shire's Animal Shelter began accepting animals impounded in the City.
That partnership helped fund a much-needed upgrade of the facilities for the animals here. Now the most recent upgrade has improved facilities for customers and for the volunteers as well.
As any local government can attest, volunteers are essential across a whole range of community services. None of us could accomplish many of the things we do without their help.
Not only that, but in giving their time and expertise to a common project, volunteers help build strong communities. So we all owe them a big debt of gratitude.
The energetic volunteer program here - as well as the committed staff who provide such excellent care for all animals in the shelter - were factors in our decision to partner with Sutherland Shire.
The sound policies and high reputation of the Shire's Animal Shelter also counted for a great deal.
The Shire, like the City of Sydney, encourages responsible pet ownership and is proactive in trying to find new homes for the animals in its care.
It is reassuring to know that it operates under a low-kill policy which ensures it has the lowest killing rates in Australia.
Pets can bring so much into our lives but they must be cared for responsibly and councils have to ensure that they are. So once again congratulations to everyone involved in this important work - the City is proud to partner with you in it.