Questions asked about why cat man didn't receive help

READERS have vented their anger and distress that the plight of an elderly man, living in squalor on a rural property near Turkey Beach among diseased cats, was not brought to the attention of authorities sooner.

The comments come after The Observer published the story yesterday sparked by a charity organisation entering the property to remove, and destroy, almost 50 cats.

Gladstone Regional Council has maintained it was called to the property regarding the cats and did not have jurisdiction to take action on behalf of the man.

There is no local law restricting the number of cats kept on a rural property.

We asked the council why it did not inform the relevant government agency about the man's living situation after visiting the premises.

This was their response: "There is a whole sector of State and Federal agencies that are responsible for human health and welfare matters and it would be inappropriate for council to comment on how and when they should become involved in individual cases."

State MP Glenn Butcher said it was "ridiculous" to say the State Government was responsible if it hadn't been notified.

"If someone from the council has seen the conditions were unsafe they have a duty of care to escalate it so that person can get help," Mr Butcher said.

Concerns regarding the elderly can be reported to the federal Department of Social Services by calling 1800 200 422.