Res­i­dents un­leash at fo­rum

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By JON BAS­SETT

MOSMAN Park dog own­ers want an off-lead recre­ation area for their pets be­fore Christ­mas af­ter about 120 at­tended a pub­lic fo­rum about dog con­trol last Tues­day.

Mayor Brett Pol­lock agreed there should be more off-lead ar­eas in the Town.

“We’ll look at spe­cific ar­eas for it, but all the is­sues men­tioned tonight have been good and we’ll make it hap­pen,” Mr Brett Pol­lock said.

The fo­rum was to tackle the ire of dog own­ers raised af­ter fines were is­sued by a ranger in river­side parks in Au­gust and Septem­ber.

“I’ve got to say that if that ranger comes up and pokes a cam­era in my face, it’ll end up where the sun don’t shine,” res­i­dent John Doo­nan said.

There are about 1800 reg­is­tered dog own­ers in Mosman Park and those at the fo­rum said signs dif­fered about when and where to put a dog on a lead near Tom Per­rot Re­serve, Point Roe and Minim Cove. They said paths cross­ing ad­ja­cent open ar­eas be­side the Swan River were an ad­di­tional prob­lem.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Goodlet said the signs would be cor­rected, that the 180sq m of open space for each dog in the town was the largest com­pared to ad­ja­cent coun­cils, and fines such as $200 for fail­ure to con­trol the an­i­mal should be com­pared to penal­ties up to $329 in NSW.

Mr Goodlet said the coun­cil would sus­pend is­su­ing fines while it sorted out the is­sues raised at the fo­rum and the coun­cil could make a sub­mis­sion about the fines it is au­tho­rised to ad­min­is­ter to a State Govern­ment re­view of the Dog Act in 2019.

Other is­sues raised in­cluded the lack of an off-leash area in North ward when ovals were used for sport, dog walk­ers not pick­ing up ex­cre­ment, speed­ing cy­clists en­dan­ger­ing dogs, and vi­o­lent dogs al­legedly from out­side the sub­urb be­ing walked on Mosman Beach.

“There’s not enough con­tin­u­ous off-leash ar­eas and there’s got to be some­where where you can take them for a con­tin­u­ous walk,” res­i­dent Agata Zabolotny said.

How­ever, dog own­ers were also crit­i­cised. “The peo­ple who are con­stantly on their mo­bile phones, they’re the big­gest cul­prits for not pick­ing up their dogs’ poo,” res­i­dent Chris Barker said.

The coun­cil will col­late the ideas and sub­mis­sions from the fo­rum be­fore mak­ing any changes.

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