Coun­cil backs ex­tra fa­cil­i­ties in Yar­runga

...but cau­tion aired on dog park, high hopes for kids’ gar­den

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - BY STEVE KELLY skelly@ ne­me­

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.

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