City of Nedlands ranger says more to the job than ‘just chasing dogs’

Nedlands ranger Daniel Sharples likes being outdoors. Picture: Jon Bassett
Nedlands ranger Daniel Sharples likes being outdoors. Picture: Jon Bassett

CITY of Nedlands ranger Daniel Sharples spoke to the Western Suburbs Weekly for the first of a series looking at those working behind the scenes at your councils.

LAST Christmas Day lunchtime was special for Nedlands head ranger Daniel Sharples (31) in a way he could not have expected when he started his ranger career 11 years earlier.

“Someone had run up saying there was a tree across the road, so I was out, at midday, in the heat, chopping it up and moving it off the road,” Mr Sharples said.

He has been at Nedlands for five years, after stints at Canning, South Perth, Joondalup and Gosnells councils, and said rangers’ jobs among the five-member team at the City were now more diverse than “just catching dogs”.

“We also started dealing with cats, strays and ferals, including trapping cats that kill birds or do not belong to anyone,” he said.

However, problem dogs still occupy rangers’ time.

“If we are ever dealing with dog attacks there’s often the simple reason of someone not walking their dog on a lead, and it could have been prevented,” he said.

Other duties include noise complaints, bushfire prevention, controlling community events, policing illegal dumping and parking.

“Generally, people will cop a parking fine pretty sweet, and only sometimes do you get someone who kicks off, but if they do you just explain it to them,” Mr Sharples said.

A university sociology graduate, he was planning to join a council’s community development department when he went to a careers session at Canning council, where he spoke to a ranger and was attracted to the practical job.

After a Tafe local council law course lasting two weeks, he was qualified, before a period of probation.

“I like being out of the office and in the community,” he said.

MORE: Local councillors and CEOs omitted from State Government wage freeze

MORE: Man who stole rock lobster pots and crayfish fined, has boat seized, banned from holding rock lobster licence

MORE: How to spot mental health issues in your child