What the rangers do

The duties of council rangers can vary from council to council. In addition, the officers may have different position titles compared to a neighbouring council even if they are performing similar duties.

The following list provides a general guide on the duties of rangers:


  • To deliver quality service in the areas of public order and safety
  • To enforce relevant acts, regulations and local laws
  • Investigate complaints and issue infringements or cautions
  • Patrol streets and parking areas
  • Issue notices to people in violation of the environmental protection regulations
  • Catch stray and unregistered dogs
  • Attend court to give evidence in support of any prosecutions
  • Provide advice to the community

In regional areas, generalist rangers may have a broad spread of duties such as: parking patrol; animal control; illegal waste dumping; general environmental protection and; public safety and order.  In rural areas rangers may also have other responsibilities such as dealing with the movement of stock such as sheep or cattle.

What the rangers don’t do

  • Seize roaming cats. There is no offence in the NSW Companion Animals act relating to cats being in a public place or not being under effective control as there is for dogs (unless that public place is a ‘food preparation area’ or ‘wildlife protection area’). Rangers have no power or authority to take any action for roaming cats and cannot impound a cat in a public place without evidence that the cat is a nuisance or to protect any person or animal (other than vermin) from injury or death.
  • Supply animal registration or identification tags. RVC Rangers identify companion animals by scanning them for a microchip. All identifying information for the animal should be contained in the NSW Companion Animal Register, including whether the animal is lifetime registered. Companion animal registration now lasts for the lifetime of the animal and no further fee is payable. The NSW Companion Animals Act states that dogs must wear a collar and tag at all times (unless they are on their own property or they are a working dog) and cats must either be microchipped or wear a collar and tag (unless they are on their own property). All tags must show at least the name of the animal and the address or telephone number of the animal’s owner.
  • Investigate animal welfare, cruelty or abuse matters. Rangers have no powers or authority to investigate or take action regarding offences under the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, this is done by the NSW RSPCA.
  • Install, remove or repair RVC Infrastructure. Infrastructure such as signs, road markings, roads, paths bollards are installed by either RVC’s Engineering Operations section or the RTA in partnership with the Local Traffic Committee. The local traffic committee has members from NSW Police, the RTA and RVC and make decisions regarding the location of local traffic control infrastructure.
  • Collect or care for sick/injured native animals (e.g. kangaroos, wombats, possums, native birds, native reptiles This role is performed by WIRES, a volunteer organisation.
  • Catch, trap or destroy swooping magpies.
  • Provide a boarding or agistment service for animals.
  • Provide veterinary services (e.g. desexing, vaccination, health checks etc)
  • Remove wasp, hornet or bee nests or swarms. On private property this is the responsibility of the property owner, on public property Council can arrange removal if there is a risk to public safety or other hazard)
  • Trap, remove or destroy pest animals (e.g. indian myna birds, pigeons, rats, mice). This is the responsibility of the owner of the property where the problem is occurring and may require the engagement of a pest control company.

Ranger – after hours contact

If you require after hours response from either a Council ranger or Environmental Health Officer, contact can be made through Council’s after hours answering service by phoning 02 6660 0300.

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