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A Spin-Off To Dog Laws

By Em Allen on April 3, 2014 in

Picture: www.waverley.nsw.gov.au

Picture: www.waverley.nsw.gov.au

There may not be any medical professionals at Waverley Council, but there certainly are few spin doctors.

The ongoing issue about dogs in Bronte Park and Gully has seen the council revamp their original laws and, in doing so, they have made it seem like they are doing everyone a favour.

A group of locals were recently active in approaching the council, questioning why there is suddenly a crackdown on dog owners and why areas that were previously accessible are no longer so.

Following the meeting with Waverley Mayor Sally Betts and Deputy Mayor Tony Kay, the council issued amendments to the trial that came into force in December.

The amendments include expanding the designated on-leash areas to include some grassed areas and sheds in the park and increasing the off-leash area to include the pond at the western end of the gully.

But there was no change to the times owners were allowed to let their animals run free and the 3pm to 10am time limit stills stands.

Some believe a 24-hour off-leash area would make more sense and cater for the elderly and shift workers who get to the park later in the day when there are few people around.

Why not just put a restriction in place on weekends and public holidays when the area is crowded?

The amendments did little to appease those who questioned why these laws were suddenly introduced when, in the past, there were no restrictions in place other than keeping your dog on a leash in busy areas, which is fair enough.

Cr Betts was adamant there would be no going back to the ‘old days’ and that the current laws would stand.

“It is so strange that for the first time ever dogs are allowed in Bronte Park and now we have greatly changed the trial and somehow this doesn’t seem to be appreciated in any way,” Cr Betts replied in an email to one concerned local.

What is really strange about that ‘spin’ is that most people were unaware there was ever a dog ban in Bronte Park and Gully, other than a small icon on various bits of signage around the beach.

It’s pleasing to see the council has taken residents’ concern on board and made an attempt to address many of the issues put forward, but there is still a way to go.

“There will always be people, regardless of dog ownership, that will be idiots,” another local said.

“I believe the majority of people are responsible residents and getting (some of) what (they) asked for goes a long way in restoring our faith in council.

“Hopefully (council), too, are looking to be visionaries and are working to grow the community and not tear it down.

“I must state that progress doesn’t always mean change and it’s a brave council that can see the difference.”