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Council still have NO IDEA and their fingers in their ears

Today Council heard several presenters address Councillors on a proposed off-lease dog area for Batemans Bay. There were questions of whether the recommendation in a report was actually the subsequent motion: Coral Anderson writes: "The Office of Local Government Sydney was asked specifically to differentiate between a recommendation and a motion and it was explained as follows: The ‘recommendation’ as contained in the Agenda is NOT in itself the actual MOTION. So the original MOTION was the one put by Clr Tait, which Clr Pat McGinlay tried unsuccessfully to amend to included the three sites as contained in the recommendation (as appears in the Agenda). He was not supported. Neither was Clr Anthony Mayne’s motion to defer. So, the only course of action is to get a rescission motion up to rescind the previous motion and for it to include the three sites as per the recommendations in the Agenda ie that we at least have two options, Mundarra or Corrigans. There is a 3 month window of opportunity to do so but there has to be three councillors’ signatures on this. The fact that the wording of the MOTION put at today’s meeting was only known to the public at the meeting today meant that we were not privy and mistakenly believed that the RECOMMENDATION would in fact be the MOTION which I now know to be incorrect. Although the way in which the meeting was conducted and the MOTION put is not ‘unlawful’ it is disappointing and a little deceptive to me. It was only after a conversation with Office of Local Government who explained the ‘procedure’ to me that it became clear. Unfortunately, the director either did not have the capability to explain the ‘procedure’ to me prior to the meeting or did not wish to do so. I have asked Kylie Green to send me a copy of the actual MOTION put and carried today to compare side by side with the RECOMMENDATION in the report. Here is the recommendation by Council staff as contained in the Agenda RECOMMENDATION THAT Council:1. Select a site for the location of an on-leash recreational dog park in the Batemans Bay area, from the three potential sites detailed in the confidential attachment, being: Surf Beach Reserve Corrigan’s Reserve Mundarra Way, Surfside. 2. Work with the Batemans Bay Dog Training Club to secure funds for infrastructure required for an off leash dog park. 3. Publicly exhibit for twenty eight (28) days a draft amendment to the Companion Animal Management Plan 2015-2019 on the use of the selected site as a 24 hour on leash (long term off-leash) area for dogs. Animals would be required to be under the care and control of a competent person at all times. Presentation to Public Forum from Kerrie McCutcheon I would like to thank Council for giving Councillors this opportunity to decide on an area for a community off leash dog park for Batemans Bay, and I thank you for your work to get to this point today. I noticed in the agenda that there are a few references to a dog training facility. This confuses the issue as we are here today to decide on a community off leash area only as was passed at the Council meeting of 13 December 2016. And I trust that it is a clerical error where references are made to an on leash area. This makes no sense & has never been requested. Please note that I make this submission with no reference to Council's costings or recommendations as they were deemed confidential. As a member of the Batemans Bay Dog Park Supporters Group, I would like to give my support for the siting of an off leash, fenced dog park for the Batemans Bay community to the unused area of the Corrigans Beach Reserve adjacent to the Caravan park. The reasons that Corrigans are preferable to the Surfside & Surf Beach sites are... Mainly its easy access & high visibility. The area is large enough to provide a seperate small dog area which will add to its functionality and will ensure the success and popularity of the park. It is next to the dog friendly beach & also next to the pet friendly Caravan park. The timber fence along the Caravan park could provide fencing for one side of the park. Council staff could assist with grant applications to lessen the cost of the additional fencing that would be required. Also the Batemans Bay Dog Park Supporters Group has a fundraising account, and once a site has been identified, this effort can have more focus & direction. Having a fenced dog park would encourage more visitors to stay in the council owned Caravan park especially during those warmer months when access to the beach for dogs is not allowed from 9am through to 5pm. This location would provide easy access for the local community, either by car or by walking from the footpath, from the beach or from the existing car park. It would also be wheelchair accessible and would be highly visible for visitors and tourists. A fenced dog park in this area would add to, and enhance, the fenced children's playground at the other end of the Reserve and would make the entire Reserve a very family orientated area. The dog park would allow people of all ages to have an area where they could meet for social gatherings with their dogs. The easily located and highly visible area would make it attractive for visitors and tourists and would also discourage anti social behaviour. The additional visitations would entice people into the nearby Batehaven shops. It would enhance the appeal of Batemans Bay as a tourist destination, especially for the growing number of visitors who prefer to travel with their companion animals. There has already been an increase in accommodation providers who advertise their business as 'pet friendly'. This generates a flow on effect to other local businesses, such as at Batehaven. Having a nearby fenced dog park would encourage return visits. Social media quickly deems a locality pet friendly or not pet friendly amongst the travelling public. A fenced dog park would be a welcome community asset for this popular reserve. If councillors are unconvinced of the suitability of this site, then may I suggest a trial period of 2-3 years? If there are other stakeholders for this area (I have never seen this far end of the Reserve used for any event), but if the need was there, then double gates could be opened, or even removable fencing could provide access. Thank you for your attention. Eurobodalla Shire Council Meeting 13 June 2017 Public Forum Address by Kaylyn Welsh, representing RSPCA Eurobodalla Branch I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you today. I’d like to add the voice of the local RSPCA to the call for an off-leash dog park in Batemans Bay, the more populous part of the shire, for both people and dogs. While I am representing Eurobodalla RSPCA, I can also speak as a dog owner and resident of Batehaven.As I know you’ve heard before, fenced dog parks are a benefit to whole community, not just dog owners and their pets.Secure off-leash parks provide the opportunity for dogs to exercise and socialise, reducing nuisance behaviours such as barking and aggression. People also benefit from the social opportunities provided by such parks, and can often learn from other dog owners useful information relating to training and health.For senior citizens and the disabled, who may find it difficult to exercise their dogs otherwise, a safe area to let their dogs off leash is a great option. Another benefit of dog parks is that they can be very beneficial for tourists and travellers, especially now that so many people travel with their pets. And that’s a good argument for a park in a prominent place, so that tourists can find it easily or just come across it. And if they stop at a park close to shops, that can be a boost for local business. For this reason, we believe that the Corrigans option would be best.The South Australian Dog and Cat Management Board has published Unleashed: A Guide to Successful Dog Parks, which was prepared, and I quote: “to address the growing interest and role that off-leash dog parks are playing in our communities. As housing densities increase and backyards become smaller, the role of public spaces to provide meaningful opportunities to exercise, interact and get ‘out and about’ with our pets is becoming more important.” (end quote)The Guide was put together with information from both Australia and overseas, with the principal target audience being local government, to assist them in the planning, design and management of dog parks. I would commend Unleashed to Council if you are not already aware of it.To conclude, the RSPCA is pleased that the issue of additional public spaces where dogs can be exercised off leash is progressing, and we look forward to the establishment of a high quality facility for use by Batemans Bay residents and their pets, to the benefit of the whole community. Thank you. Kaylyn Welsh A Vet's perspective: As a local veterinarian I support the proposal to establish an off leash dog park facility in Batemans Bay . The preferred site for practical reasons would be Corrigans Reserve. A trained, socialised dog makes a better pet and is less likely to be a nuisance in public places. A facility close to the densest population would be ideal, reducing travel distances for participants and further motivating people to join. I therefore endorse the establishment of a fenced dog park at Corrigans Beach Reserve, a densely populated part of the Batemans Bay region. Yours faithfully, Dr Beth Miller B.V.SC Presentation by Coral Anderson Morning everybody – Can I give a cheerio to those watching from the Central Coast.My name is Coral Anderson and I live in Batehaven not far from Corrigans Reserve.It’s great to have the opportunity to come to council and talk to you today. I’m really excited about getting our Dog Park up and running.Firstly, there seems to be a misconception or misunderstanding what it is we are actually seeking. What we need to decide upon today is the best possible location for a Dog Park, not a dog training facility. These are two completely separate issues. A small area at Surf Beach could be suitable for training purposes but not for a Dog Park and that is not what is on the agenda today for discussion.I’m not here to try to convince you of the need for a fenced dog park in Batemans Bay. We all know that there is the desire from the community with about 1,500 people signing two petitions. So I’ll keep it short, sweet and to the point. I’m here as a member of the RSPCA Eurobodalla Branch to show my support for the Dog Park to be located at Corrigans Beach Reserve. I also speak on behalf of the many hundreds of community members and their four legged companions from Batemans Bay who signed the two petitions presented to council. The first petition was presented to Lindsay Brown in April 2015 and the second to Anthony Mayne in October 2016. Unfortunately, following presentation of the first petition to Lindsay, the matter did not progress and never made it onto the Council’s agenda. Thankfully, following the presentation of our second petition, the matter was finally put onto the agenda by Anthony after almost 3 years of getting nowhere.The preferred site for the Dog Park is obviously Corrigans Beach Reserve for a number of reasons as follows:The portion of land identified as suitable is to the west of the Reserve;Corrigans Reserve offers high visibility;Car parking facilities are already in place; Corrigans is accessible to pedestrian traffic;It’s handy to Batehaven shops;The area of land is just sitting there and has been not used for anything in particular for ever since I can remember;The land does not encroach onto the portion of the park utilised by the carnival, the circus or any other events or groups that currently use the reserve on an annual basis;It’s adjacent the council owned pet friendly caravan park; The land is already fenced on the caravan park side;It’s crown land;Being adjacent to an all inclusive playground, the children who use the playground area could add to their enjoyment by coming across to the dog park with their pets and we all know how much joy dogs bring to people with disabilities; Corrigans Reserve in Batehaven is, of course, central to the greater region of Batemans Bay and extremely popular. Corrigans Beach Reserve, I believe, is ideally the best location for the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.It makes good sense to locate the facility at Corrigans and would certainly advantage not only the community but also our very valuable tourists. That’s it from me. I’ll leave you with this simple yet effective quote from Abraham Lincoln -“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way” Presentation to the Public Forum Eurobodalla Council Meeting of 13th June 2017 by Robert Loftus Good morning, Madam Mayor, Councilors, General Manager and Council Staff. I would like to commend Councilors and Council Staff for progressing this issue to the point we are at today. However, upon reading the Council Report relating to Dog Recreation areas, Batemans Bay, it became quiet evident that the issue of a Community “off-leash” Dog Park in Batemans Bay has been confused once again with the request by Animal Welfare League for dog training facilities in Batemans Bay (see letter, 12th August, 2016). Therefore, I would respectfully request that both Councilors and Council consider the Community “off-leash” Dog Park and the venue for the AWL Dog Training Club as two completely separate issues (see letter, 7th June, 2016). With that said, we are gathered here today to consider a Community “off-leash” Dog Park for Batemans Bay. Obviously, the criteria by which we judge the suitability of a venue for a Community “off-leash” Dog Park has to take into account many factors, but the need for a “off-leash” Dog Park in Batemans Bay goes without question. The location and design of the Dog Park must be 'fit for purpose' and have maximum benefit for 'all' in our community. Only one suggested location stands out as the suitable venue for the Community “off-leash” Dog Park in Batemans Bay and that is located at the northerly end of Corrigans Beach Reserve, Batehaven. It is fit for purpose. With 7,000 registered dogs and half the population of the Shire in close proximity, Corrigans Reserve has a large area that lies mostly unused by the community, it is adjacent to a dog-friendly holiday park and time share beach. The area required when taking into account the behavioural needs of dogs, would be approximately 100m X 100m. and a smaller area 25m X 25m for small dogs. With chain link fencing 1.5m high the visual impact would be a minimum. Advantages to the Community of having a “off-leash” Dog Park in Corrigans Reserve are many, here are just a few: • Highly Visible • Safe and Secure • Accessible • Local to the main population of Batemans Bay • Easily found by Tourists and Visitors • Adds to the 'family' atmosphere of the area • Avails of existing fencing in reducing costs • Close to shops and businesses in the area stimulating economic activity • Has existing parking facilities • Already maintained by Council • Will help reduce dog behavioural problems in Batemans Bay • Supported by the community, local vets, the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League • Social hub for 'all' in the community to discuss and educate dog owners on the need to register, vaccinate, train and exercise their dogs • Promotes responsible dog ownership in the community • Showcases the Eurobodalla Shire as a dog-friendly destination • Enhance the lives of elderly residents and those with disabilities by providing a local venue they can visit and have an opportunity to meet a friendly dog. • Provide a safe venue for fun dog activities for all to enjoy I trust Council and Councilors will take all this information into account when considering the community “off-leash” Dog Park in Corrigans Reserve If any doubts still remain as to the suitability of Corrigans Reserve, might I suggest a trial period of say 3 years. Also with flexible fencing arrangements the size and shape could be quickly adjusted to suit any unforseen community needs. Thank you. Rob Loftus

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