City to build new fenced dog parks

We have identified
three priority areas for potential new fenced dog parks.

In endorsing the Fenced Dog Parks Siting, Design and Management Guidelines, council
noted that Lara, south of the Barwon River and the southern Bellarine
Peninsula have the most immediate need for fenced dog parks.

The aim eventually is for all residents across the municipality to have
reasonable access to a fenced dog park for socialising and exercising their
dog.

Specific locations are yet to be chosen, with our staff now
to carry out a detailed analysis in each priority area. This process will
include community engagement.

Several potential sites in each area have already been identified.

Funding for delivery of the new dog parks is being sought through the
development of the 2019-2020 council budget.

The guidelines were developed following a survey of dog owners that found 84
per cent support for the development of more fenced dog parks in Greater
Geelong.

A draft set of guidelines was released for public feedback during November last
year, receiving 40 responses, mostly positive. This has resulted in the final
document being adopted without any changes.

The guidelines call for any new fenced dog
parks to be strategically located across Greater Geelong, in areas with high
populations of dogs.

They state that the facilities should be located within larger open space
areas, at accessible and highly visible sites, and that they should service a
cluster of suburbs.

The only existing facility in the region is at Stead Park in Corio. Any new
fenced dog parks would not replace existing off-leash areas.

Greater Geelong is home to more than
34,500 registered dogs, a figure that is rising along with the human
population.

The most registered dogs are in Lara (2649), followed by Highton/Wandana
Heights (2636), Ocean Grove (2563) and Leopold (2067).

Councillor Bruce Harwood – Mayor

Dogs play a very important role in the lives of
many people in Greater Geelong. Often, they’re considered part of the family.

Council has recognised the importance of giving dog owners places to exercise
their pets in a safe and controlled manner. By endorsing these guidelines we’ve
taken a big step towards the creation of new fenced dog parks around the
region, which is something the dog-owning community clearly wants and would
value highly.

Councillor Peter Murrihy – Co-Chair, Social and Infrastructure
Planning

Council’s decision to identify three
areas most in need of safe, fenced dog parks is a big win for dog owners. Our
region is home to more than 34,500 dogs, with the highest number in Lara.

Dog parks are known to increase physical activity levels and improve the health
and wellbeing of dog walkers, including children. City of Greater Geelong staff
will now analyse Lara, south of the Barwon River and the southern Bellarine
Peninsula for appropriate spaces, with the help of further community
engagement.

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