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Dog owners fight off-leash ban at Currimundi park

RESIDENTS UNITE: Dorothy Letters with Winston, Helle Strath with Lucky and other users of Grahame Stewart Park in Currimundi are angry that the council may prevent their dogs from running free there.
RESIDENTS UNITE: Dorothy Letters with Winston, Helle Strath with Lucky and other users of Grahame Stewart Park in Currimundi are angry that the council may prevent their dogs from running free there. John Mccutcheon

DOG owners are crying foul over plans to amend a local law which would ban off-leash dogs from a section of a Currimundi park.

Grahame Stewart Park is a designated dog off-leash area.

However, a bike track with road markings and playground equipment also make the park popular with children and young families.

A 2012 Sunshine Coast Council report highlighted a risk that off-leash dogs could tangle with cyclists.

To avoid a public liability hazard, the council began building a fence last year to separate the playground and bike track from the cricket ground and off-leash area.

The fence will be completed this year, following consultation with dog owners.

Should dogs and playgrounds mix?

This poll ended on 19 March 2015.

Current Results

Yes, there's nothing wrong with everyone enjoying a community space

23%

No, I don't want my children playing near dogs

40%

Yes, as long as owners keep dogs under control

35%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Area councillor Peter Cox said amending the local law was a way of formalising the existing physical barriers that separated off-leash dogs from the playground areas.

He said the goal was to create a designated all-abilities playground.

A review of the proposal to change the local law will be undertaken later this year.

Meanwhile, the council has asked park users to have their say on a range of suggested upgrades.

The most popular upgrade options will be considered next financial year to the value of about $80,000.

But Currimundi resident Dorothy Letters said she and other dog owners were concerned the council had not undertaken proper community consultation in planning the all-abilities park.

"The park has been a fundamental and harmoniously shared space for locals and their dogs for decades," Mrs Letters said.

"The master plan makes very little mention of this and offers no proposed enhancement of facilities for those who wish to continue using it as such. I want to make sure they maintain the current dog off-leash area."

Mrs Letters said she did not believe the plan for an all-abilities playground was in line with the area's make-up.

"The demographics of this local area are not young families," she said.

Cr Cox said about 60% of the park's footprint would remain a dog off-leash area.

 

Topics:  dog owners leash


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