Controversial Off Leash Dog Park Proposed at Blackman Park Lane Cove

    The Lane Cove Council is asking residents to have their say on a proposed off leash dog park at Blackman Park.  This has some people barking mad. Does it mean the Blackman Park fields will no longer be off leash dog areas?  ITC spoke to Councillor David Strassberg, Lane Cove West Ward and Dog Lover, and asked him to explain the proposed plan.

    Background

    Dog Owners are currently permitted to have their dogs off leash on Blackman Park Fields 3 and 4 only.  Dogs must be on leash when organised sporting activities are being conducted on these fields.  This includes weekend games, club training, sports carnivals and any other sporting groups who have booked the ground (which is another story discussed below).

    Dogs are NOT permitted on the synthetic fields at any time and must remain behind the fence on a leash.

    The following areas of Blackman Park have NEVER been leash free:

    • Walking/Jogging Path;
    • Cricket Nets;
    • Half Basketball Courts;
    • Playground Areas;
    • Picnic Areas;
    • Bush Land Tracks; and
    • Bush Land (Did you know that walking dogs in bushland significantly reduces the number and species of birds found in these areas? Read more on this research here )

    Proposed Fenced Off Leash Park

    Councillor Strassberg has advised the proposed fenced area is an additional option for dog owners. The current off-leash area will still be available when organised sporting activities are NOT being conducted.  This is good news for local dog owners.

    This new 3000m2 space for dogs will provide a safe place for them to socialise and exercise.

    The park will include:

    • Agility play obstacles

    • Shade from trees and structures

    • Seating

    • Water stations

    So what would you like to see in the Dog Park? Please complete the short online survey to provide your feedback on the equipment and features of the new dog park. Survey closes Monday 3 September 2018

    Council will use the feedback received from the survey process to improve the final design of the additional space.

    Off Leash Areas in Lane Cove

    Local councils are required to provide at least one off leash area for residents.  Lane Cove Council provides 17 off leash areas:

    Download the map of off-leash areas in Lane Cove

    • Bob Campbell Oval, Greenwich (on open playing field areas when organised games are not in progress)
    • Kingsford Smith Oval, Longueville (on open playing field areas when organised games are not in progress)
    • Ronald Park, Greenwich
    • Pottery Green, Lane Cove (on open playing field areas when organised games are not in progress)
    • Tambourine Bay Reserve, Riverview (except bushland areas)
    • Blackman Park, Lane Cove West (on open grass playing field areas when organised games are not in progress)
    • Stringybark Reserve, Lane Cove West (open playing field areas only)
    • Tantallon Oval, Lane Cove West (open playing field areas only when organised games are not in progress)
    • Cunninghams Reach, Linley Point (not including playground area)
    • Lloyd Rees Reserve, Northwood
    • Newlands Park, St Leonards (not including playground area)
    • Gamma Road Reserve, Lane Cove (adjacent to Lane Cove Golf Course)
    • Burns Bay Reserve, Riverview (open playing field areas only when organised games are not in progress)
    • Helen Street Reserve, Lane Cove (not including playground area)
    • Ludowici Reserve, Lane Cove West
    • Shell Park, Greenwich
    • Manns Point Park, Greenwich

    Why Are Dogs Required to Be On Leashes?

    Judy Carroll will tell you why she advocates for dogs to be on leashes when they are not at an off leash park.  In March this year, an unleashed/unrestrained American staffy jumped from a open rear vehicle door parked at the Figtree shops and attacked  her Cavoodle who was walking past on a lead held by Judy’s husband.  The staffy tore the Cavoodle’s neck apart, while Judy’s husband lay on the ground trying to save his beloved dog, to no avail. The Cavoodle died instantly from a torn apart neck.  The owners of the American Staffy got the dog back into their vehicle but left before the police arrived. The dog owner’s vehicle registration was noted and the dog owner was fined.  This did not bring Monte back, however the wonderful people of Lane Cove donated to a  Go Fund Me campaign and now Judy has a new dog called Jacky (pictured below on the right with his friend Bailey).

    Earlier this year the ABC published an article on what not do when your dog is off leash.  Read this article here.

    It is also important for dog owners to clean up after their doggies and for people using the sports fields to clean up (rotting food and plenty of strapping left behind).  In the UK the issue of doggie doo is so bad, the borough of Barking introduced DNA testing.

    Booking Sporting Activities on Lane Cove’s Sporting Fields

    A few weeks ago ITC was contacted by a concerned resident who was dismayed at the Lane Cove Council’s decision to permit a commercial enterprise exclusive use of Tantallion Oval at times when residents use the oval to play and walk their dog.  The resident stated:

    I am miffed that Lane Cove Council has allowed a commercial organisation to rent the ground two evenings a week and they have exclusive access. If a local non-for profit community club was using it I would have no problem but this is a commercial organisation. The current arrangement is only for a few more weeks but I don’t want the council to make a habit of this type of arrangement.
    What do you think?  Should the Lane Cove Council rent out our grounds to commercial organisations (the fee would assist in upgrading the oval) or should local residents who want to use the oval take precedence?

     


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    4 COMMENTS

    1. I definitely I think it makes sense for the council to rent out sports pitches. The service provided by commercial operators is valued by residents and the revenue means less has to come from taxation.

    2. This can’t be about simply maximizing revenue. Ratepayers have funded these facilities over many years and deserve the utility of getting access ahead of an organisation with little or no connection to Lane Cove.