RSPCA NSW Offers Shelter for $1 to Blue Mountains Community

RSPCA NSW has offered to transfer ownership of the Mort Street Animal Care Facility and land to Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) for the nominal sum of $1 after reaching an agreement that includes a 20-year covenant to protect the site’s ongoing use as a local animal care and rehoming shelter.

This agreement to transfer ownership follows months of constructive discussions between RSPCA NSW, BMCC, and the Member for Blue Mountains, Ms Trish Doyle MP, following RSPCA NSW’s decision not to renew council pound management contracts and close the facility by 5 July 2024.

RSPCA NSW has delivered Australia’s largest animal law enforcement agency for over 90 years. This transition is part of a major strategic shift for our organisation, enabling us to apply greater focus on our core function of preventing cruelty, while increasing investment in programs to educate and help pet owners in times of need.

“We have been in favour of the Council operating the Mort Street Animal Care Facility from the outset and are delighted that Blue Mountains City Council will be committing to continuing to use this facility as a local hub for pound and rehoming services,” said RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman.

“Like all of our state’s 128 local councils, Blue Mountains City Council is well placed to provide pound services for residents. RSPCA NSW’s long history of working closely with the council and supporting the local community will continue as we provide continuity of companion animal management services during this transition.” 


RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman, Blue Mountains Mayor Cr Mark Greenhill, and Ms Trish Doyle MP at the Mort Street Animal Care Facility  

RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman, Blue Mountains Mayor Cr Mark Greenhill, and Ms Trish Doyle MP at the Mort Street Animal Care Facility  


Member for Blue Mountains, Ms Trish Doyle MP said “I am pleased to have facilitated important conversations and negotiations over the past six months between the RSPCA and Blue Mountains City Council. I am thrilled with the outcome – having made suggestions to this effect – for our community.”

“I thank the RSPCA for arriving at a decision that honours the extraordinary history of the shelter and I very much look forward to working together with Council and the community on the Mort Street shelter facility into a positive future.”

Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill added “We are delighted that negotiations with RSPCA NSW have resulted in a solution that means best practice animal welfare services can continue across the City, after four successful decades.” 

This matter will go to the March Council Meeting and following endorsement by the Council, the Mort Street facility can be used for the ongoing purposes of rehoming, care and protection of animals.”

RSPCA NSW will remain present in the Blue Mountains community by continuing to deliver preventative initiatives, such as our Keeping Cats Safe at Home project, which has been in conjunction with the BMCC for the last three years, along with our inspectorate activity and community outreach support programs.

“Our organisation will continue to support the Blue Mountains as we have always done, independent of a bricks-and-mortar shelter, just like many other communities around NSW,” said Mr Coleman.

RSPCA NSW looks forward to the motion of the proposed offering being formally endorsed by the Blue Mountains City Council at their scheduled meeting on 26 March 2024.



  • 6 July 2023: RSPCA NSW announced the facility’s staged closure and provided council with a 12-month window before they would be required to resume managing local pound services. RSPCA NSW’s public statement can be found here.
  • 13 November 2023: BMCC conducted their first inspection of the site. 
  • 12 December 2023: RSPCA NSW and BMCC met with Trish Doyle MP, where BMCC advised that having considered various alternatives, the Mort Street site was their preferred option and that they would be agreeable to transferring ownership of the site to BMCC.
  • December 2023 – February 2024: RSPCA NSW sought legal advice and undertook thorough consultation with its members, Board of Directors, and Government to ensure an offer that fulfilled the Board of Director’s fiduciary duties could be made that also honoured the community’s strong connection to the Mort Street Animal Shelter.
  • 23 February 2024: RSPCA NSW met with BMCC to foreshadow an offer to purchase the site for the nominal sum of $1, providing a 20-year covenant to protect its ongoing use as a local animal care and rehoming shelter could be agreed upon.
  • 26 February 2024: RSPCA NSW formally offered BMCC the site for $1 and required a 20-year covenant to protect its ongoing use as a local animal care and rehoming shelter.
  • 29 February 2024: BMCC provided RSPCA NSW with a draft covenant proposal.
  • 4 March 2024: RSPCA NSW responded to accept the terms of the draft covenant.
  • 20 March 2024: RSPCA NSW, BMCC, and Trish Doyle MP announce offer to transfer ownership to BMCC after months of work collaboratively to ensure continuity of pound service.