Dogs off the leash

Tuncurry dog park users.
Tuncurry dog park users.

Developments are underway to create on and off-leash areas for dogs in Elizabeth Reserve, Forster Keys.

The concept has been pushed by the Forster Keys Progress and Ratepayers Association for several years.

MidCoast Council staff have investigated the request with a proposal that north of the intersection of King George Parade and Elouera Crescent would be a designated “dogs on leashes” zone while south of the area would allow dogs to be free of leashes.

To account for all residents and park users, MidCoast Council would install appropriate signage that identifies the on-leash and off-leash zones, restrict the areas for exercising dogs between 6am and 8pm as well as install dog faeces bag dispensers in the off-leash area.

MidCoast Council’s community spaces, recreation and trades department would fund the installation of the signage and faeces bag receptacles.

The council sent out 168 letters to residents in relation to the proposal to which only 20 replied.

Concerns were raised by some respondents, such as safety related to uncontrolled dogs and fears for dogs running onto the road.

The concept of an off-leash zone has proved effective across the bridge at Tuncurry’s Beach Street Reserve Dog Agility Track.

The site can attract upwards of 50 people with their four-legged companions at a time.

Dogs have access to tunnels, ramps and jumps while their owners can enjoy undercover areas.

Some users of the park come from as far as Old Bar and Hallidays Point.

Great Lakes graffiti buster Ted Bickford has volunteered at the site for more than 18 years and said a sense of camaraderie was felt by those who use the facilities.

“People come, meet and talk everyday,” Mr Bickford said.

Multiple volunteers work on the site on a regular basis to ensure the gardens, grass and facilities are kept to a high standard.