Public Forum presentation to Council by Rob Loftus
At Council's meeting of October 10th Mr Rob Loftus gave a presentation during Public Forum. Eurobodalla Shire Council Agenda Item; Fenced off-leash dog park, Corrigans Beach Reserve 10th Oct. 2017.
Madam Mayor, Councilors, General Manager,Council Staff and Members of the Community.
Upon examination of the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 in regard to having a fenced “off-leash” dog park on Corrigans Reserve and the Council’s “time-share” dog prohibition on Corrigans Beach. It is obvious that there are some serious and misleading anomalies not only in the application of the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998. but also the information contained in the Companion Animal Management Plan 2015-2019.
The provisions of the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 should be applied equally and fairly throughout all of NSW. The Companion Animal Management Plan 2015-2019 must contain a true and accurate record of information. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 states - “dogs prohibited in some public places”
Recreation areas where dogs are prohibited – meaning any public place, provided or set apart by a local authority for public recreation or the playing of organised games and in which the local authority has ordered that dogs are prohibited and in which or near the boundaries of which there are conspicously exhibited by the local authotity at reasonable intervals notices to the effect that dogs are prohibited in or on that public place or part.
Few, if any, public spaces that have been declared “dog prohibited” by Council comply with the requirements as set out in Section 14,(1)(c) of the Act.
Section 13,(6) states:
A local authority can by order declare a public place to be an “off-leash” area. Such a declaration can be limited so as to apply during a particular period or periods of the day or to different periods of different days. However, there must at all times be at least one public place in the area of a local authority that is an “off-leash” area.
It is obvious that “time share” is a day-time provision between dog “on-leash” and dog “off-leash” areas and cannot include areas declared as “dog prohibited” or “night-time” periods and still comply with the requirements of Section 13,(6) and Section 14,(1)(c) of the Act.
Therefore, “time-share” public spaces declared as dog “off-leash” and “dog prohibited” and/or refer to overnight time periods do NOT comply with the provisions of the CAA1998 Act.
Corrigans Beach can only be “time-share” between dog “off-leash” and dog “on-leash”.
A fenced “off-leash” dog park on Corrigans Reserve would therefore comply with all the “off-leash” provisions of the Act.
ALL public places declared by Council as “dog prohibited” and dog “off-leash” must comply with the requirements of the Act. and be listed in the Companion Animal Management Plan 2015-2019. Clearly this is not the case.
Misleading and deceptive references to provisions of the Act, must be corrected and/or removed from CAMP 2015-2019.
For example, the reference in CAMP2015-2019 to the Children Care and Protection Act 1987 in Section 14,(1)(f) of CAA1998, when there is NO mention whatsoever of this Act in Section 14,(1)(f) of the Act.
The application of CAA 1998, by Council has been deceptive by ommission, as the provisions of Section 14,(4)(5)(6)(7) and (8), and Section 14A have been ignored by Council and CAMP 2015-2019.
Section 13,(1) states:
A dog that is in a public place must be under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person.
This section does not apply to a dog participating in an obedience class, trial or exhibition. See Section 13,(5)(D).
It is reasonable then to assume that if a public place is not lawfully declared a “dog-prohibited” or a dog “off-leash” area, then it MUST be a dog “on-leash” area. Unless the dog is participating in an obedience class, trial or exhibition.
Why then does Council not allow the use/hire of sporting fields for dog training/obedience as listed in the Councils own Fees and charges 2017-2018. When sporting fields are not lawfully declared “dog prohibited” areas in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
I therefore respectfully request the Mayor, Councilors and Council take immediate action on behalf of all Responsible Dog Owners and our Community to immediately redress these unlawful applications of the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998, and the inaccurate and misleading information contained in the Companion Animal Management Plan 2015-2019.