December 22, 2020

City of Melville to turn Piney Lakes Reserve into new dog play park

By haziqbinarif

Piney Lakes Reserve in Winthrop has been chosen as the location for the City of Melville’s new dog play park, complete with exercise equipment for pooches of all sizes.

It’s estimated the fenced facility – which won’t be built for at least seven months – will cost about $158,000.

Councillors voted unanimously at this month’s Melville Council meeting to endorse Piney Lakes as the preferred location and authorise chief executive Marten Tieleman proceed with designs and cost estimates.

A survey of 564 community members in October found 73 per cent thought Piney Lakes was the most suitable location from a shortlist of 10 sites.

That followed the first round of community consultation in August, which found 92 per cent of 920 respondents supported a fenced dog play park within the City of Melville.

dog, play, park
Camera IconStock image. Credit: SierraEchoHotel/Pixabay.

“Piney Lakes is central to the City, has good access, and the section of Piney Lakes identified for a fenced dog play park is currently already well utilised as a dog off-lead exercise area,” City neighbourhood amenity manager Brodie Dawkins said in his report to the Council.

“The City of Melville has over 170 parks/reserves; 138 of them are already off-lead dog exercise areas which are well utilised.”

Funding will be included in the 2021-22 capital works program for the Council’s final approval.

New dog laws

Meanwhile, locals will be given a chance to have their say on proposed changes to the City of Melville’s dog law.

Melville Council has proposed replacing the 15-year-old law while simultaneously lifting or relaxing restrictions at 11 parks and reserves including Deep Water Point.

At Deep Water Point, where pooches are currently prohibited, they would be permitted on-leash in the carpark, on pathways and at the Dome Cafe al fresco area.

Dogs would also be allowed at Applecross’s Jeff Joseph Reserve, though they would have to be on a leash and would still be restricted from bushland and foreshore areas.

At Joan Williams Park (Willagee), Len Shearer Reserve (Booragoon) and Melville Reserve, where leashes are currently enforced, dogs would be allowed to run free.

dog, park, nature
Camera IconStock image. Credit: NatWhitePhotography/Pixabay.

The opposite would apply at George Humes Park (Willagee), Robert Crawford Reserve (Booragoon), Three Bears Park (Palmyra) and William Reynolds Park (Willagee).

Proposed changes to the dog law itself would provide the flexibility to allow exemptions for all assistance dogs.

“The existing local law exempts only guide dogs and hearing dogs from compliance with the local law prohibiting dogs from certain places,” City governance project officer Anne Hill said in her report to the Council.

“It is now commonly recognised assistance dogs are not restricted to guide dogs and hearing dogs.”

The new law would also rectify a problematic sub-clause – which is invalid under the Dog Act – that prohibits dogs from entering businesses other than pet shops and veterinary clinics.

Councillors voted unanimously to invite public submissions on the proposed new law and to initiate public consultation on the changes to restrictions at City parks and reserves.

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