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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Off-leash dog park for BBAY closer

At the Eurobodalla Council meeting of November 22nd, 2016 three members of the community spoke in public forum to the issue of a fenced dog park in Batemans Bay. Robert Loftus, Kerrie McCutcheon and Peter Cormick clearly presented a case calling for a fenced, off-leash dog park and training facility for the Batemans Bay area. Mrs Kerrie McCutcheon, speaking on a Non Agenda Item at the meeting addressed the Councillors, Executive staff and gallery. Good morning Mayor, Councillors, General Manager and Council staff. I would like to add my support for a fenced, off leash dog park in Batemans Bay and also for the need for Council to allocate suitable grounds where dog training and agility classes can be held in Batemans Bay. A purpose built and well maintained, fenced dog park would become a social hub for people and their dogs to meet and to form friendships and would allow communities to connect through participation in activities and events with their canine companions. Pets provide companionship and increase our quality of life. They can reduce stress and can encourage a healthier lifestyle by getting owners out on walks and social visits to the local dog park (if we had one). Dog parks allow seniors and those with mobility problems to exercise their dogs and also to meet other people, which reduces their isolation.This also leads to improvements in their mental and emotional health. Owners of dogs with disabilities (such as deafness) and owners of sight hounds or scent hounds need a safe, fenced area to allow their dogs to be off leash; as do owners with young dogs in training or newly acquired older rescue dogs from pounds or shelters. Visiting a dog park is a low cost, family friendly activity.An increasing number of pet owners choose to travel in a caravan or motor home to enable their pets to travel with them. A dog park, along with the off leash beach areas, would encourage more tourists to visit and stay longer in the area.I am a member of Milton Ulladulla Dog Training Club and our classes are held on the cricket oval at Milton, in Shoalhaven Council. In Bega Valley Shire, the Bega Valley Kennel And Dog Training Club hold classes on the Bermagui Oval.There are areas suitable to hold dog training in Batemans Bay, such as one of the many under utilised ovals.This would only require a change of Council regulations for classes to begin. Surely Eurobodalla Council could encourage responsible dog ownership within the Batemans Bay community by allowing training classes on one of these ovals. I present to the Mayor and Councillors and to the General Manager of Eurobodalla Council, a petition supported by over 800 residents requesting that Council take action to redress the present lack of facilities for pet dog owners to safely exercise, socialise and train their dogs in Batemans Bay and to provide fenced, 24hour leash free dog parks and to allocate facilities suitable for the safe training and education of pet dogs and their owners and to promote responsible dog ownership in the community. Thank you for your attention. A second presentation is also published here that was read to the meeting by Robert Loftus . Non Agenda item, Eurobodalla Shire Council meeting 22nd Nov. 2016. Good morning, Madam Mayor, Councillors, General Manager and Council Staff, I would like to talk to you this morning about why a DOG PARK and ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE (AWL) DOG TRAINING CLUB are urgently needed in BATEMANS BAY • The success of Dog Training Clubs in both Narooma and Moryua combined with the many 24 hour leash-free areas at both these locations, where less than half of the dogs registered in the Shire reside, only reinforces the need for simular facilities to be made available to the residents of Batemans Bay where over half of the dogs in the Shire reside. • At present, the existing dog clubs cannot cope with the numbers of pet dog owners requesting help with training their dogs, more facilities are urgently needed. • The majority of dog problem behaviours reported to Council come from Batemans Bay where there are no dog training classes and no promotion of responsible dog ownership. • There are no secure 24 hour leash-free areas for pet dogs to be safely exercised, socialised and trained in Batemans Bay. • A Petition from over 800 residents of Batemans Bay requesting that Council provide a Dog Park and Dog Training Club facilities for pet dog owners in Batemans Bay will be presented to Council. • Two decades ago 80% of pet dogs spent most if not all of their time alone in backyards, Today 80% of pet dogs spend most if not all of their time living in the family home with their human family. (see, Pets in the City, P.I.A.S. 2010) • Many families take their dogs with them on holidays. These families seek out dog-friendly destinations to “party” in. Batemans Bay needs a Dog Park to attract this growing market of canine 'tourists'. At present Batemans Bay and the Eurobodalla Shire are not seen as being dog-friendly destinations. (for example, see Destination NSW, and • Other Councils allow responsible dog owners the use of Parks, Ovals, and Sporting Fields, both on-leash and off-leash. Berry, for example, allows dogs 24 hour off-leash access to their Sporting Complex. A search of any location on “” will reveal how other Councils allocate resources for Companion Animal activities and the promotion of Responsible Dog Ownership. They are acutely aware of the resulting huge health, economic and social benefits for all in the community. DOG PARK The area designated for a Dog Park must be a secure fenced area in Batemans Bay. With both “small” and “large” dog sections. Have double gates, seating and shade for owners to socialise and exercise their dogs. Have drinking water for both humans and dogs, poo bag dispensers and waste bins and car parking. (As a guide see, UNLEASHED – A guide to successful Dog Parks, Govt. S.A. 2013) AWL DOG TRAINING CLUB The area designated for an AWL dog training club, must be fenced and secure, have level grounds and have the basic facilities for a dog club, storage for dog training equipment and car parking. This area in Batemans Bay may be shared with other sporting groups. NOTE: The area used by the Pony Club was deemed unsuitable as many of the people who would participate in dog agility (which entails running through a course with a dog) the potted and uneven ground would pose a risk to health and safety for young and old alike. SUITABLE AREAS IDENTIFIED TO LOCATE THE AWL DOG TRAINING CLUB INCLUDE: Former Bowling Club: Shared use of the three most northerly greens of the former bowling club, this would require the minimal financial outlay to make suitable and secure for pet dog training. Has car parking, storage, lighting, seating and shade already in place. • This area could immediately be made totally separate and independent from the main building and bowling green at that site at minimal cost. • Could also be used as an intrim location to get the club started. Hanging Rock: shared use of a sporting field or oval, with storage facilities and car parking. Mackay Park: shared use of sporting field. storage, facilities and car parking. Thank you, for listening. Robert Loftus The Batemans Bay dog park campaigners feel confident that they can progress these issues; especially with the assistance of interested Councillors. The group, with wide community support, look forward to the intended Notice of Motion that Deputy Mayor, Anthony Mayne, is proposing to present to the next Council meeting scheduled for Dec 13th, 2016 Members of the public are invited to attend this meeting to show their support for both a fenced dog park and also dog training and agility classes in Batemans Bay. Both Robert Loftus and Kerrie McCutcheon will again address this meeting of Council to give support. Donations towards the establishment of a dog park in Batemans Bay are now being accepted. If anyone would like to find out how to make a donation or how to offer support the project you can phone 0410035667 see also - Residents tenacious about a dog park for BBay

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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