DOGS HAVE THEIR DAY
Council’s plan for 18 new off-leash areas across the region
PLANS for new areas where dogs can run free have been drawn up by Cairns Regional Council. Seven of the 18 new zones are deemed urgent at the Northern Beaches, the Southern Corridor and west of the CBD.
THE suburbs are about to get more dog parks than they can throw a stick at.
Pet owners hounding Cairns Regional Council for more places to let their pooches run untethered could be in for a special treat this morning.
The council’s sport and community services committee will vote on a proposal to create 18 off-leash areas from Gordonvale to Palm Cove in a staged process to kick off straight away.
A report identifies seven parks (right) as “high priority” with the works to be implemented by the end of the 2020-21 financial year at an expected $470,000 cost to ratepayers.
By far the most expensive project would be Barron Waters Park at Caravonica, which has been a bone of contention for residents over the past year.
The fenced off-leash area would be created as part of a wider $250,000 park redevelopment including a new 70space carpark, BMX track, barbecue and picnic areas, bubblers, shelters, seating and tables, multi-sport goalposts, toilet block and play areas.
Caravonica resident Karen Davies launched a petition last year to relocate the park’s offleash area out of a swampy corner or to agree to operate it on a timeshare agreement.
The entire park has long been used as a play space for unfettered pups and the council faced a community backlash when it sent security officers to enforce by-laws last year.
Ms Davies thought the total park redevelopment was overkill and might attract itinerants and campers.
Still, she appreciated the change in the council’s philosophy – or dogma, if you will.
“All the people we’ve spoken to seem happy that we’re not just relegated to that swampy section near Impey St,” she said. “It’s a good compromise. “And quite frankly, we need to get something for our dog registration fees.”
Four of the seven high-priority off-leash areas would be fenced under the plan.
The report identified seven medium-priority parks to get off-leash areas within three to five years and another four long-term projects to happen within seven years to a decade.
If approved, the proposals will likely be put out to public consultation to finetune the designs.
The council already has 45 off-leash areas including 12 on the Northern Beaches.
PARK LIFE: Annee Nguyen and her dog Piper from Redlynch enjoying some off-leash play at Goomboora Park.