OFF LEASH DOG AREA DEBATE

Rather than take up room on the Bargara Facebookers Group Page or embroil its members in political debate, I though that I’d post my response here so that residents can opt to access it or simply ignore it……

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The intention of my original post was to provide further information for the community on research into a topic that I’ve been dealing with for many years. Those who have followed the discussions would be aware that contributors nearly always draw comparisons between the facilities available in other local government areas and those within the BRC area.

I do however appreciate that Ross supports my stance on the off-leash dog issue as I’ve been fighting for years to establish a reasonable number of them on the proviso that they’re located appropriately.

In fact it was only through my lobbying that the Neilson Park area was eventually gazetted, however it was unfortunate that the Council wouldn’t expend funds to fence or erect prominent signage. I’ve repeatedly suggested that Council should seek expressions of interest from pet product/food manufacturers or local veterinarians to gauge their interest in sponsoring fences, however to no avail. I’ve also continued to pursue the matter to the extent of putting forward the following motion to Council on 25th February 2014 which at least resulted in the placement of the current bollards and signs:

“That Council:-

(1) authorise the placement of delineation markers and signage at appropriate locations to identify the boundaries of the gazetted off-leash dog areas at Nielson Park, Bargara and Lions Park, Bundaberg North;

(2) consider the allocation of appropriate fencing for these areas in the 2014/15 budget.”

Again, I strongly supported the proposed Rifle Range Beach area to the extent that I actually hosted a petition for the community on my personal website through this article which attracted 241 signatures:

http://www.gregbarnes.com.au/residents-call-for-off-leash-dog-area-at-rifle-range-beach-sign-the-petition-here-2/

When it came to the vote, I was one of only three Councillors to support the area. Other articles posted on my personal website kept the community informed at the time:

http://www.gregbarnes.com.au/rifle-range-beach-off-leash-dog-proposal-recommended-for-refusal/

http://www.gregbarnes.com.au/rifle-range-off-leash-area-voted-down/

With regards to Mary Kinross Park, I again strongly supported the proposal and arranged my own on-site public meeting which was later followed up by Council-organised weekend public meetings, all of which I attended.

Eventually the Council identified four potentially suitable sites within the park and actually went to the extent of conducting a Community Survey to ascertain which area they preferred. This whole process came at a cost of many thousands of dollars and when the community provided its response, the Council did a back-flip and scrapped the whole proposal. Here’s the vote :

http://www.gregbarnes.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Minutes080414A.pdf

Throughout this period I have not only posted articles on my personal website but I’ve also contributed to several dozen online debates through a number of facebook sites together with regular updates at meetings of the Bargara Progress Association.

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