Item 12.4 - Attachment 1

28 July Council Report - Additional Dog Leash Free Areas



ITEM NUMBER牋牋牋牋 12.1

SUBJECT牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 Additional Dog Leash Free Areas

REFERENCE牋牋牋牋牋 F2005/00856 - D00971113

REPORT OF牋牋牋牋牋牋 Supervisor Open Space





To seek Council's endorsement to place a proposal for four additional dog leash free areas on public exhibition. The proposed new sites are at: Dan Mahoney Reserve, North Parramatta; Darcy Road Reserve, Wentworthville; George Kendall Riverside Park, Ermington and Barnett Park, Winston Hills.






(a)牋牋牋 That Council adopt the four additional dog leash free sites identified in this report for the purpose of public exhibition.


(b)牋牋牋 That if no objections are received during the public exhibition period, to any of the proposed dog leash free areas, then the sites be designated as a leash free area and signposted appropriately.


(c)牋牋牋 Further, that if objections are received during the public exhibition period a further report regarding that site be presented to Council for consideration.





1.牋牋 In 1998 the NSW Parliament passed the Companion Animals Act, herein referred to as the Act, to encourage responsible animal ownership and management. It provided for the identification and registration of Companion Animals (dogs, cats) and defines certain duties and responsibilities of owners.


2.牋牋 The Act also placed additional responsibilities on Council who were statutorily required to provide at least one (1) dog off-leash dog area by 1 December 1998. To comply with this requirement, and given the large and dispersed nature of the Parramatta LGA, Council established dog off-leash areas in three (3) locations, including:


i. Cowells Lane Reserve Basin (Ermington);

ii. McCoy Park Basin (Toongabbie);

iii. Wolseley Street Reserve (Guildford).




3.牋牋 Companion animals, such as cats and dogs, have significant social and health benefits for their owners. Off-leash exercise is beneficial to the welfare of dogs and may reduce incidences of nuisance behaviour. In addition to dog exercise, off-leash parks also provide social opportunities for dog owners, increasing community participation and interaction.


4.牋牋 Increasing residential densities throughout metropolitan Sydney are resulting in less residents having access to large backyards. As such, access to local off-leash parks for dog exercise and socialisation is becoming increasingly important. Several Councils across Sydney have expanded the number of off-leash areas available to residents. Parramatta was identified as a Regional City under the NSW Governments Sydney Metropolitan Strategy, and a list of off-leash dog provision provided by other 慠egional Cities is shown at Attachment 1.


5.牋牋 Council抯 Open Space Plan (2004) recognises the importance of dog leash free areas, however identified the existing sites as being of poor quality. It recommended that appropriate consideration be given to the needs of companion animals and their owners.


6. 牋牋 Council was successful in obtaining a 2006/7 NSW Sport and Recreation Capital Assistance Grant to establish an off-leash area in Old Saleyards Reserve, North Parramatta. However, organised sports have recently been relocated to Old Saleyards Reserve from nearby Dan Mahoney Reserve, as it is no longer suitable for organised sports due to increasing ground subsidence. NSW Sport and Recreation have approved the transfer of the grant to Dan Mahoney Reserve due to these circumstances. The Dan Mahoney Reserve off-leash area will have a completely fenced perimeter, additional shade, water, dog-faeces bins and seating facilities for dog owners. (Attachment 2)


7.牋牋 The Parramatta Sport and Recreation Plan (2005) recommended that Council review and expand its off-leash provision and identified three (3) additional sites, which include:


i.牋牋牋 Darcy Road Reserve - Wentworthville

牋牋牋牋 The area on the eastern side of the fenced water canal is a suitable leash-free area as it provides an enclosed grassed area with shade trees and defined boundaries. Fencing would be required at the Darcy Road, entrance due to the busy nature of the road. (Attachment 3)


ii.牋牋牋 George Kendall Riverside Park (Eastern Area) Ermington

The large expanse of undulating open space on the eastern side of Spofforth Street (excluding Basketball and Netball courts) is suitable as a leash-free area. Its considerable size and location away from the sporting fields and BBQ/picnic area will prevent unwanted interaction with other park users. (Attachment 4)


iii.牋牋 Barnett Park Winston Hills

This area of the LGA was identified as having a large number of residents who regularly exercise their dogs. Barnett Park is considered an appropriate leash-free location due to it being a large open grassed area with large shade trees and defined boundaries. (Attachment 5)


8.牋牋 Council would be required to install at least tow bins per site for the disposal of dog faeces. This a total of six bins at $100 each, plus installation. In addition, Council would be required to install three signs per site, with an overall estimated total cost of $1,350. The total fencing cost is estimated at $6,000. These costs can be absorbed from the existing Parks Improvement Capital Works budget. Other associated costs to be incurred would include the maintenance of rubbish receptacles.




9.牋牋 If approval is granted to proceed to public exhibition letters will be forwarded to relevant Park Committees and residents in areas surrounding the four proposed additional off-leash sites, inviting them to comment. Information will also be displayed at Council libraries and posted on the Council抯 website.


10.If any objections are received during the public exhibition period in relation to one of the proposed sites then a further report will be presented to council. However if no objections are received the areas will be signposted appropriately.




James Smallhorn

Supervisor Open Space





LGA Dog Off-Leash Comparisons

1 Page



Dan Mahoney Reserve Off-Leash Area Location Map

1 Page



Darcy Road Reserve Off-Leash Area Location Map

1 Page



George Kendall Riverside Park Off-Leash Area Location Map

1 Page



Barnett Park Off-Leash Area Location Map

1 Page