Bayside Council sniffs out new dog off-leash areas

Council takes the lead in proposing four new playtime options for dogs.

Bayside Council is considering four potential locations for new dog off-leash areas. These sites were shortlisted by the City Services Committee and presented to the Council at this week’s meeting.

The proposed locations are Rhodes Street Reserve East in Hillsdale, Hughes Avenue Reserve in Mascot, Ron Gosling Reserve in Bardwell Park, and Flynns Reserve in Bexley. The Council will exhibit these locations publicly for 28 days to collect feedback from residents.

Residents living in proximity to the proposed sites will receive letters detailing the plans. Furthermore, the Council will disseminate information via its e-newsletter and social media platforms. Community feedback will be collected through the Have Your Say platform.

Dr. Christina Curry, Bayside Council mayor, explained, "After this public consultation period, a report will be submitted to the council."

Council will review the feedback and any available budget considerations in July.

As Bayside has limited open space suitable for new dog off-leash areas, each potential site must meet certain criteria. Considerations include minimum size requirements, distance from schools and recreation areas, accessibility, and safety risks. Also, many potential locations aren't council-owned and may require permissions from other landowners such as Crown Lands or Sydney Water.

There are currently 13 parks and 1 beach in Bayside where dogs can exercise without a leash. Image: Bayside Council

Besides considering the new locations, Cr Hanna suggested implementing an education program and improving signage to address the issue of dogs running free where they shouldn't.

"There seems to be an ever-increasing number of residents who break the law," Hanna said.

"And some of the residents, not only the dogs, can actually get quite aggressive if they’re politely told, or advised, that’s its not an off-leash area."

"Where we have parks that are not off-leash areas, perhaps we need to think about having signage saying this is not an off-leash area."

The Council will also consider strategies for educating residents about the proper use of off-leash areas when the report is submitted.

Currently, there are 14 designated off-leash dog exercise areas in Bayside, with only 10 being fenced.

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