Council backs extra facilities in Yarrunga
...but caution aired on dog park, high hopes for kids’ garden
DESIGNERS of what will be Wangaratta’s first off-leash dog park in Yarrunga are being urged to lessen the risk of canines getting injured on installed apparatus.
Rural City of Wangaratta councillors this week unanimously agreed to the much anticipated improvements to Mitchell Avenue with features such as the dog park, children’s garden and BMX Pump Track to be built adjacent to One Mile Creek.
But Kevin Felmingham, president of Wangaratta Dog Obedience Club, told council during public question time that he had concerns for the safety of dogs.
“With the equipment, just be mindful of what you do put in there because there have been incidents at Wodonga where their equipment was too big for the smaller dogs and they had dogs fall off and injure themselves,” he said.
“The other thing is to make sure people using the park aren’t trying to force their dogs to go over the equipment and who’s going to be liable if a dog does injure itself.”
He also welcomed a speedy build of the park saying there have been two recent dog attacks in Wangaratta prompting a higher need of a fenced off area.
The Mitchell Avenue Reserve Master Plan features will greatly enhance the area with a splash park already operational since Novem- ber 2015 and improvements to the basketball/tennis court area.
Plans for improvements followed the closure of the outdoor pool in December 2015 and council has been working since to make the area better.
Council director of community wellbeing Jaime Carroll said funding is in the 2018/19 draft budget for developments and the dog park and children’s garden are priorities.
“Hopefully in the next 12 months it (the dog park) will be fully implemented,” she said.
Some $63,000 for the dog park, $38,000 for exercise equipment, and $20,000 for designs of the children’s garden are in the draft budget.
A further $63,000 towards the redevelopment of the former Yarrun- ga pool site with the BMX Pump Track is in the budget as well.
Jenny Hart, an advocate for the former Yarrunga pool, welcomed the children’s garden and implored council to market the asset to user groups outside the local area when it’s complete.
“If council could develop a children’s garden on par with the Royal Botanic Gardens people could be brought into the region from other schools in the area,” Ms Hart said.
“Your focus needs to be above the bar and looking very, very high and don’t let that opportunity slide.”
Cr Mark Currie said as a former Yarrunga resident that it was good to see the land was finally going to be developed.