DOG EXERCISE AREA FOR EATON
How did this project come about?
In 2016, Council established a Working Group to include shire staff and community members charged with investigating the potential for providing a fenced dog exercise area in Eaton. Following investigations into several possible locations, it was determined that the eastern portion of the Eaton Foreshore be explored further.
The Shire of Dardanup has almost 2,500 registered dogs plus a range of existing on and off-leash options for exercising them. Council believes provision of a facility like this – enabling dog owners to exercise and socialise their pets in a controlled environment – could assist with reducing dog-related issues in the community such as excessive barking and aggression.
Some options have been investigated however Council resolved at its meeting on January 23, 2019 that a community consultation process to gauge support for the project should be undertaken before any further decision is made.
What are the current options for exercising dogs in the Shire of Dardanup?
There are almost 2,500 dogs registered in the Shire of Dardanup.
Under Council’s Dog Local Law 2014, dogs can ONLY be exercised off leash at the following locations.
Penalties may apply for dogs not on leash outside of the below times and locations.
No time restrictions:
Leicester Reserve, Eaton
(off Leicester Ramble)
Watson Street Reserve, Eaton
Wells Recreation Park, Dardanup
Lot 55 Ferguson Road
Gardiner Street Reserve, Burekup
Between 7.00pm and 10.00am daily ONLY:
Eaton Foreshore Reserve, Eaton
Collie River Bridge to Foster Street
Lofthouse Park, Eaton (Reserve 42368)
Hunter Park, Millbridge
(Off Hunter Circle)
Why a fenced off area when there are already unfenced off-leash areas?
A fenced off dog exercise area will be available as an off-leash area at all times. The fence will assist dog owners in containing their dogs, particularly for those dogs that may not always respond to their owners and are at risk of not returning.
Will other off-leash areas be affected by introducing a fenced dog exercise area?
No. The intent is to provide additional locations to existing areas.
How does this project related to Council’s Strategic Community Plan 2018-2028?
A Fenced Dog Exercise Area meets Objective 5 (Amenity) of the Strategic Community Plan.
“Provision and maintenance of facilities, infrastructure and services to promote the Shire as an attractive and desirable place to live.”
Outcome 5.2 of this objective is defined in the Plan as a:
“Liveable Community: Providing amenities, services, places and spaces that bring meaning to our residents’ lives beyond just being a place to reside and work.”
How much will Council spend on it?
Council does not have a specific budget allocation for this project. The amount of funding required will be governed by the location and scope of the project.
What facilities would a new Fenced Dog Exercise Area in Eaton include?
Definite inclusions in addition to the fence will be a water source plus bins and disposal bags. Signage will outline rules and etiquette of using the park plus contact details for Shire of Dardanup Rangers to report any issues.
Additional facilities, such as separate areas for smaller and larger dogs, lawn, play equipment, park benches, shade structures will all be dependent on funding available.
Consideration will also need to be given to ongoing expenses associated with the park such as (for example) reticulation if the area is lawned as the Shire of Dardanup will be responsible for the park’s ongoing management and maintenance, similar to other Shire-owned assets like playgrounds.
If the project goes ahead, how will Council make a final decision on location?
Plans for a new Fenced Dog Exercise Area would take into account best practice guidelines in providing successful dog parks and considerations will also be given to the initial and future costs of the park.
Developing the park is more than just putting a fence around some vacant land and consideration will need to be given to such matters as how many registered dogs we have in the area (2477), the existing off leash areas, the size of the park, available parking, connectivity to other facilities, potential local impacts, dog behaviour and essential amenities such as safe entry gates, pathways, ground surface and landscaping as well as drinking water, shelter, signage and bins.
If the project goes ahead, when will it be built?
This will be dependent on the location, level of funding required and the need for external funding sources.