Dogs on leash at Samson Park

Stock image.
Stock image.

DESPITE community opposition, Sir Frederick Samson Park bushland will become a dog on leash area only.

Samson councillor Jeff Mcdonald proposed an amendment to include highlighted open space and a fenced ring pathway.

Cr McDonald said a reason for the amendment was that community consultation indicated strong desire to maintain a dog off-lead within bushland.

“This compromise was created through direct discussion and liaison with the community members by local Councillors,” he said.

“A change in weed management could assist the (environmental) issue.”

Councillor David Hume and Rachel Pemberton both supported the amendment.

Cr Pemberton said the bushland was loved by the community and raised issues of conflict of use with dogs on the grassed areas with children birthday parties.

Cr Sam Wainwright, who did not support the amendment, said he did not make the decision lightly but the officers were meeting halfway.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham said she listened to the debate but would not support the amendment.

“Not saying you can’t take your dogs there but you can’t have dogs off lead in the bushland, Cr Wainwright asked where can dogs go to run off lead but I ask where can our native fauna go?” she said.

During public consultation in a community survey 70.2 per cent strongly disagreed with the policy and 8.8 per cent strongly agreed.

Additionally the Council also received a petition of 175 residents to withdraw the proposal.

In a report tabled at committee it stated the park was a rare piece of suburban conservation bushland which is considered to have high conservation value.

The original proposal was carried with Cr McDonald and Pemberton not supporting the changes.

The policy will be effective from December 1.