Off Leash Dog Areas Confusion – Another Lane Cove Council Communication Fail

    Lane Cove Council has 17 Off Leash Dog Areas and one dedicated Dog Park at Blackman Park (with another one to be opened soon at Turrumburra Park).

    What is an Off Leash Dog Area?

    In NSW, Dogs must remain on leash at all times when in public (including bushland) except in designated off-leash areas.  The Lane Cove Council website lists the following areas as Off Leash Dog Areas:

    1. Bob Campbell Oval, Greenwich (on open playing field areas when organised games are not in progress)
    2. Kingsford Smith Oval, Longueville (on open playing field areas when organised games are not in progress)
    3. Ronald Park, Greenwich
    4. Pottery Green, Lane Cove (on open playing field areas when organised games are not in progress, not including playground area)
    5. Tambourine Bay Reserve, Riverview (except bushland areas, not including playground area)
    6. Blackman Park, Lane Cove West (on open grass playing field areas when organised games are not in progress)
    7. Stringybark Reserve, Lane Cove (open playing field areas only, not including playground area)
    8. Tantallon Oval, Lane Cove West (open playing field areas only when organised games are not in progress)
    9. Cunninghams Reach, Linley Point (not including playground area)
    10. Lloyd Rees Reserve, Northwood (not including playground area)
    11. Newlands Park, St Leonards (not including playground area)
    12. Gamma Road Reserve, Lane Cove (adjacent to Lane Cove Golf Course)
    13. Burns Bay Reserve, Riverview (open playing field areas only when organised games are not in progress, not including playground area)
    14. Helen Street Reserve, Lane Cove (not including playground area)
    15. Ludowici Reserve, Lane Cove West
    16. Shell Park, Greenwich
    17. Manns Point Park, Greenwich

    Kingsford Smith Oval Longueville

    The park where many issues arise in relation to use of the area as an off leash park is Kingsford Smith Oval Longueville.  Kingsford Smith Oval is not a dedicated dog park.  It is a playing field. There are also cricket nets at one end of the field.

    The rules clearly stated on the Lane Cove Council website is that the Kingsford Smith Oval is not an off leash area when organised games are in progress.  What is an organised game?  To many that is a fixture where two teams are playing sport.  It’s pretty obvious that dogs are not allowed when an organised game is taking place.

    Are you allowed to use the off leash area when the nets are being used?  Is this an organised game?  The answer is no. It’s a training session.  However it is confusing.

    If the oval is not to be used during a training session then Lane Cove Council needs to update their policies.  On 6th November 2019, the Lane Cove Rangers were threatening to fine residents if their dog was on the oval unleashed during a training session.  ITC would love to challenge that fine.  If your really interested you can read Lane Cove Policy POL-ES-08.

    Dogs Behaving Badly

    The problem is that when local sporting clubs are using the oval for training sessions there have been issues.  Some issues are:

    • Dogs urinating on kit bags;
    • Dogs chasing cricket balls;
    • Dogs being aggressive around young children practising.

    ITC is a dog lover and dog owner.  ITC regularly uses Kingsford Smith Oval and we have seen first hand some of the issues.  As is the case in all communities, it’s the actions of some that impact those who play by the rules.

    So How do you know when you are not permitted on Kingsford Smith Oval?

    The answer is you don’t know until you walk to the oval. Lane Cove Council has taken away the notice board at Kingsford Smith Oval.  They have not put up notices on the gates, posted on  Facebook or on their website or even put an article in their newsletters.

    Lane Cove Council is of the view they cannot notify people about oval usage as the oval can be hired at any time.  However the Lane Cove Council does know when local sports groups use the oval for practice as they book the oval for a specific time and duration.  These times should be communicated by Lane Cove Council to the public.  There are going to be times when a local sports group books an oval for a one off reason – in that case it may be harder to communicate but does not mean you don’t communicate permanent bookings.

    Better Communication

    Lane Cove Council needs to communicate better to its residents.  This is not just for the above issue, it is also for numerous Lane Cove Council activities that impact residents on a day to day basis.  You may recall the absolute confusion on the first day the 8 week traffic diversions started on Rosenthal Avenue.  Lane Cove Council did not provide any information on the diversions other than signs which said traffic delays due to roadworks.  ITC raised this with Lane Cove Council and pointed out that the diversion should have been communicated by all methods available and including Facebook and their website.  ITC was advised the following by Lane Cove Council:

    “It’s probably not the best example, but regarding Rosenthal Avenue, I believe posting something like this to facebook or our website is ineffective as it only informs the people who have liked our page or happen to go to our website.”

    Lane Cove Council Feedback

    Lane Cove Council is currently seeking feedback on how they can work with the community via their annual Customer Satisfaction Survey. The feedback provided is important as it helps Council to develop better ways to meet community needs. The online survey must be completed before Monday 11 November 2019.

    In addition to the online Customer Satisfaction Survey, Council is also robo calling residents (and non residents ITC’s sister in Brisbane received a phone call) and asking them to complete a phone survey.  Survey details here

    What do you think?  Should Lane Cove Council tell residents when an oval is booked by local sports groups?

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