PETITIONERS failed in their quest for additional off-lead dog exercise areas on the Canning River foreshore in Shelley following a decision last week by City of Canning.
Council voted not to extend the existing dog exercise area along the foreshore from Beryl Avenue to Linkwater Street.
However, it called for a review of the Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan including dog exercise areas on the foreshore.
The intensely debated issue came after council received a petition in December signed by 36 residents from 29 households requesting the extension of the off-leash dog walking area in the suburb.
Another petition with a counter point of view containing 233 signatures was received at last week’s meeting that urged council to oppose the request for an extension of the off-lead dog exercise area.
Councillors Patrick Hall and Ben Kunze, who voted against City officer’s recommendation, both queried why there was a disparity in the number of off-lead dog exercise areas in Rossmoyne compared with the paucity of areas in neighbouring Shelley.
Cr Patrick Hall said a consistent approach in the allocation of off-lead dog exercise areas between the suburbs was needed.
Cr Pauline Tarrant said consideration needed to be given to foreshore users other than dog owners including runners, cyclist, picnickers and small children who may not want dogs exercising off lead.
Canning River Residents Environmental Protection Association (CRREPA) president Stephen Johnston, who spoke to councillors at last week’s ordinary council meeting, said there was significant environment value on the Shelley-Riverton foreshore with 70 different native birds identified at the location since 1991.
“There is a simple proposition; domestic dogs and native wildlife are not a good mix. Even the most docile dogs and cats are predatory animals and are therefore a threat to native wildlife,” he said.
He criticised the City’s efforts in enforcing local laws when it came to controlling the behaviour of dogs on watercourse reserves.
“The evidence can be seen almost every day with dogs running freely, off-leash outside dog exercise areas. More concerning was that this consistent breaching of a council zoning determination had been going on for so long with impunity at Wadjup Point that we understand some dog owners felt the zoning should be changed to ratify their illegal conduct.”