THE City of Joondalup will establish dedicated dog exercise parks.
Councillors at last month’s meeting voted to list funds in the City’s five-year capital works program in 2018-19 and 2021-22.
The decision follows the council’s request in December to “report on the potential establishment of a dedicated dog exercise park in the City of Joondalup”.
Cr Kerry Hollywood moved the motion, saying the City did not have a dedicated park “despite the popularity of such parks in other local councils both within WA and in the eastern states”.
She said the fenced parks allowed dogs to be “off the leash to run around with other dogs freely in their own enclosed play area”.
“They have the freedom to run, play and socialise with other dogs,” she said.
She said some owners did not feel comfortable letting their dogs off their leashes at parks “for fear they will run away”.
“An enclosed, dedicated area where dogs can run freely without the ability to escape would alleviate this problem,” she said.
She said it would also reduce the “risk of an encounter between someone who is afraid of dogs and a dog that is running around off its leash”.
At last month’s meeting, the council received a report on other dog parks in Perth and potential locations within the City, with more investigations to be done before recommendations on specific sites will be made.
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said fenced dog exercise areas were well utilised.
“They also provide an opportunity for community interaction and improved social contact that has health and mental benefits to individuals,” he said.
“Dogs are able to be socialised in a more controlled and safe environment that will decrease the likelihood of dog attacks or aggressive behaviour.
“Other local government areas have reported on the tremendous success of fenced dog exercise parks and are considering increasing the number of dedicated facilities over the coming years.”
At the council briefing, Padbury resident Timothy Green said he was “cautiously supportive of the idea of dog parks” but he would like to see “an overarching plan for managing and classifying open space first”.
“I think corralling and separating uses into different areas is not necessarily the best way to manage conflict,” he said.
“Shared understanding of values and better visibility of park bookings to the general public would help avoid user conflict.
“Better enforcement of the responsibilities of dog ownership should be a priority.”
He also said many councils that had fenced dog parks did not have dog beaches.
“Dog beaches meet many of the criteria for fenced dog parks, with little to no additional cost required,” he said.