Tails wagging over new off-leash areas

Tails are wagging over Council’s decision to install permanent dog off-leash areas at Petersham Park and Sydenham Green.

The areas will transition to permanency following extensive engagement with the community over the course of a six month trial.

“This is a fantastic result. Council research has shown that dog walking is the second-most popular recreation in the inner west, and off-leash areas have long been identified by residents as a necessary part of the public space,” said Administrator Richard Pearson.

“Council consulted with park-users extensively during the off-leash trials, and the feedback was extremely positive.

“The decision to make the trial areas permanent has been made together with our community,” he said.

Council will also cease an off-leash trial at Laxton Reserve, Dulwich Hill, as well as beginning new trial off-leash areas at Johnson Park, Dulwich Hill and Morton Park, Lewisham.

“This is what trials are all about – giving dog owners, other park users and Council a chance to gauge the suitability of parks for off-leash areas.

“And while Council and the community has deemed some trial areas unsuitable for permanent off-leash status, we’re committed to exploring new possibilities,” Mr Pearson said.

Council’s Recreation Policy and Strategy (2013) states that “Council actively promotes responsible pet ownership, recognises the value of pet ownership in contributing to community well-being, and acknowledges that providing public spaces to exercise pets is essential.

Council’s approach to equitable access to parks for people with pets is based on:

• safe and shared use of parks and open space
• the development of facilities to meet the needs of residents and their pets
• ongoing management of pet access in parks and open space

The use of Council parks by dog owners is encouraged by Council because it creates a positive sense of community.

Inner west pet owners can connect and share information via the Inner West Pets Facebook group.

For print quality images of Council’s off-leash areas, contact the communication team.

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Page last updated: 03 Jun 2022