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Peter Cormick - 22 November 2016

Peter Cormick made comments regarding the establishment of a dog park in Batemans Bay at the Ordinary Council Meeting 22 November 2016.

Non-agenda public forum 22 November 2016 – Peter Cormick

Off-leash Dog Park in Batemans Bay

  • Advocates for an off-leash dog park in Batemans Bay have been lobbying council for the past 2 years – without results.
  • The petition referred to by Rob Loftus and Kerrie McCutcheon – of 800 plus signatories – has, I understand, been achieved with minimal effort.
  • Re the Notice of Motion on the subject, to be put forward by Councillor Mayne, I ask that councillors please undertake some personal research before next week’s briefing.  
  • By accessing the links referred to in Rob Loftus’ presentation you will see that off-leash dog parks are commonplace in other parts of the State.  
  • In my view, Council’s Companion Animal Management Plan - which provides a framework and guidelines for the administration of the Companion Animals Act 1998 – takes an almost exclusively regulatory approach to dogs within the shire. On a brief look through the Plan I could see no more than passing reference to the importance of socialisation of dogs – for the dogs and the owners. Council needs to step up and councillors themselves need to take this matter in hand.

Council's Reply

In relation to community lobbying for a dog recreation venue in Batemans Bay, Council received written requests on 11 May, 20 May and 7 June 2016 to develop an off-leash dog training area in Batemans Bay.  These submissions were received as part of the initial community consultation regarding short term use of the Batemans Bay Bowling Club site.  A search of Council’s records management system has not identified any written requests earlier than May 2016 in relation to the current proposal that would confirm advocacy dating back two years.  However, the issue may have come up as part of recreation planning or consultations, albeit in a less formal or specific way.  Either way, the issue is being considered by Council.

As indicated in your presentation, Council has received a petition requesting a 24 hour off leash dog park and pet dog training facility in Batemans Bay, which indicates support from the community.  Council has facilitated the development of such a facility in Narooma and acknowledges that additional facilities need to be considered as part of responsible recreation planning, including a venue in Batemans Bay. This process is currently underway.

In relation to the Companion Animal Management Plan (CAMP), it does include regulatory considerations.  The plan’s key purpose is the administration of the Companion Animals Act 1998.  While Council will consider the CAMP in relation to dog facilities, other factors, such as recreation planning, community demand and community consultation processes will also be considered, with the aim of achieving a positive result for the community.