Council is encouraging the community to have their say on the draft Dogs in Open Space Action Plan now on exhibition.
The 10-year Action Plan provides a framework for future planning, management and prioritisation of infrastructure, including where dogs are allowed on or off-leash and where they are prohibited. The Plan also includes clear criteria and direction for infrastructure development, to ensure there are adequate and safe areas to accommodate dog exercise within the region.
Council Unit Manager Environmental Compliance and Systems, Luke Sulkowski said Council is keen to hear from all community members, including those without dogs as pets, on the allocation of dog exercise areas across the Central Coast.
“With our LGA having one of the highest populations of companion dogs in New South Wales, we know the community is very interested in the delivery of infrastructure and the provision of open space that support responsible pet ownership,” Mr Sulkowski said.
“Council currently manages and maintains 61 off-leash dog areas including open space reserves, beaches and fenced off-leash areas. This draft Action Plan proposes modifications to the boundary of ten off-leash areas, the decommissioning of six sites and the addition of thirteen additional off-leash areas.
“Whilst we are proposing to close some off-leash areas, we plan to relocate and/or provide new open space where pets can enjoy some time off-leash, under the close supervision of their owner.
“The aim is for improved opportunity for dedicated dog exercise areas and open spaces that all community members can safely enjoy.
“It’s important however to remember that your dog is your responsibility when taking it into public spaces, to ensure all community members can safely enjoy our beaches, parks and open spaces.”
Over the past 18 months, Council has been consulting with the community on a range of topics including the Responsible Dog Ownership Policy, Helen Reserve, Gorokan – Dog Park, and Our Coast, Our Waterways. During these conversations with the community, the issues of dogs, infrastructure and the environment were explored. Council has used the information collected during these consultations to inform the development of the draft Dogs in Open Space Action Plan.
The activities in the draft Action Plan are not currently funded in Council’s budget, nor from external funding. In order for Council to allocate funding in the annual budgets or attract funding from external sources such as grant funding, an adopted strategy or plan must be in place.
The draft Action Plan gives the community the opportunity to provide input and feedback on where the proposed off-leash and fence off-leash areas are located.
For more information on the draft Action Plan and to have your say, visit yourvoiceourcoast.com/dogs.