Off-leash dogs banned from section of Currimundi park
OFF-LEASH dogs will soon be officially banned from the playground section of Grahame Stewart Park, following the council's unanimous approval of a landscape plan for the popular area.
While The Currimundi park is currently a designated off-leash area but a 2012 council report found there was a risk that dogs could collide with children using the park's bike track.
To avoid a public liability hazard, the playground was fenced off from the rest of the park.
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The dog off-leash area still accounts for about 60% of the 3.5ha park.
Divisional councillor Peter Cox said the council would now move to change local bylaws to formalise the ban.
"At the moment our council officers can't actually enforce (the ban on off-leash dogs in the playground section of the park)," Cr Cox said.
He said the change to the bylaws would probably happen "in the next couple of months".
Local dog owners have previously voiced their anger at the decision, with Currimundi resident Dorothy Letters labelling it "out of touch" with the local community and dog owners who used the park.
However Cr Cox said the changes "would give parents peace of mind".
"The landscape plan outlines Grahame Stewart Park's future as a space to suit a variety of people," he said.
"Upgrades made this financial year have been extremely well received by the community, with more and more people utilising the park.
"An all-abilities space, including accessible infrastructure and play equipment, has also been included in the plan following strong community support and will be recommended for funding in future financial years."
Cr Cox said improvements would also be made to the dog off-leash area.
"The area will be upgraded to include self-closing gates, additional shaded seating and a drinking fountain, in addition to the recently installed dog water bowl," he said.
Place management and delivery portfolio councillor Greg Rogerson said the landscape plan represented a "big picture" approach to the district level park.
"I take my hat off to Cr Peter Cox for the way he has looked at the big picture," Cr Rogerson said.
"Despite several user groups having different ideas, we now have a great commonsense result for the community."
Improvements funded for the 2015-16 financial year included formalised car parking, a double flying fox and realignment of cricket field fencing to provide shaded seating in the dog off-leash area.