City of Stirling residents to be asked about dog park strategy


Poochpower representative Siobhan Boffey says the money would be better spent elsewhere.   Picture: Andrew Ritchie         d457762
Poochpower representative Siobhan Boffey says the money would be better spent elsewhere. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        d457762

THE City of Stirling is calling on residents to have their say on the City Wide Fenced Dog Park Implementation Strategy.

In June, councillors considered a $155,000 fenced dog exercise area at Lake Gwelup but dog-walking group Poochpower said the money would be better spent elsewhere.

Poochpower representative Siobhan Boffey said while the group was not against the idea of a fenced exercise area, it had not seen a huge demand and felt the money could be spent on rangers and better park facilities.

“While a fenced dog park is probably a great idea for small dogs, an enclosed space with numerous dogs can be overwhelming for a lot of dogs which is why it is important that this not be the exclusive off-leash area,” she said.

Ms Boffey said the group |encouraged running and walking with dogs rather than “standing around watching them in a fenced area”.

When the item was before council in June, some councillors objected to the cost of the proposal.

Stirling parks and reserves manager Ian Hunter said dog parks helped to foster community spirit and encourage owners to socialise.

“The City has recently opened its second fenced dog exercise park, at Charles Riley Memorial Reserve, developed after the success of the first facility at Inglewood Oval,” he said.

Friends of Lake Gwelup (FOLG) spokesman Spider Hart said not all owners were responsible, especially when it came to cleaning up after their pooches.

“The uncollected dog faeces in the whole reserve cause damage to the natural area that the dogs create by going into the bushland and water and jumping into the lake and chasing natural birdlife,” he said.

Ms Boffey said the group encouraged people to clean up after their dogs and provide obedience training.

Mr Hart said ideally the group would like to see dogs on leashes, excluding the oval and the fenced area.

A Lake Gwelup Reserve Environmental Management Plan from 2015 said dogs were the cause of some negative impacts to the Bush Forever reserve.

“There has been much negative impact on the reserve by the public, such as deliberately lit fires, allowing dogs to run through the bushland and wetland,” the report said.

Community consultation is open till August 15.

Visit www.stirling.wa.gov.|au.