Dog fence proves contentious at City of Vincent council meeting

Dog fence proves contentious at City of Vincent council meeting

A PROPOSED dog fence at Charles Venyard Reserve became such a heavily debated topic at last week’s City of Vincent council meeting the item was deferred.

The City earmarked $15,000 for an enclosed dog exercise area at the reserve in its 2016-17 budget and offered North Perth residents and dog owners three fencing options.

More than 50 favoured a fully enclosed area with gates on three sides and 11 were against all options.

Council was set to pass the officer’s recommendation to install a 900mm pool fence at the February 7 meeting, but several residents attended the meeting in protest.

Colin Scott said he stood before council 20 years ago arguing against a dog fence and if he had to come back in another 20 years to do the same he would ‘blow his top’.

“I know the population has increased and so there are more dog owners, sport, kids, playgrounds, people exercising and barbecues, but enclosing the area would change the ambience,” he said.

A 19-year-old resident, who had never been to a council meeting before, said he was also against a “dog cage”.

“It will look ugly, grotesque,” he said.

One resident who spoke in favour of the fence said she was the one who raised it for funding.

“People say they wish the park was enclosed,” she said.

After revealing an anecdote about his own dog running on the road, councillor Joshua Topelberg said dog safety was “100 per cent my responsibility” and did not support a fence.

Councillor Matt Buckels and acting mayor Roslyn Harley both favoured a vegetation boundary.

The item was deferred to discuss that possibility at a future council meeting.

Fencing options:

–       partially enclose the area with access gates on two frontages

–       fully enclose the area with access gates on three frontages

–       provide a small section of fencing along the Bourke Street frontage only