June 4th, 2011
Amended new dog laws for the City of South Perth are scheduled to be voted on at the council meeting on June 28th.
The amendments have gone some way towards allaying the concerns of local dog owner groups. Dogs are required to be leashed within five metres of organised sports but there are sweeteners in terms of enhanced access to certain parks.I have spoken to Kaye Hill and Clive Deverall and their tone is conciliatory. Local dog owners seem prepared to give the new regulations a trial. I hope they are given a fair go in return.The amendments were passed (by a single vote I understand) at the council audit and governance committee meeting last month.
Throughout this process, questions keep nagging at me. From where in council did the push for new laws originate and why? The council is obliged only to review the laws after a certain period, and there seemed no great need for change. I had some dealings with council two years ago (as I sought to move the practice) and was very impressed by the councillors. They copped some flak at the public meeting but this is quite undeserved as I doubt the proposals originated from them. Equally, I work with the rangers on a regular basis and a better bunch of men and women would be hard to find. I doubt they pushed for the new laws either, after all they’re the ones who’ll have to enforce them.
So why the new laws? A co-ordinated push by the WA local government association (several other local authorities are attempting to introduce similar legislation) based on a model dog law which isn’t released to the public? A public liability issue (reportedly not the case)? Complaints by sporting groups using Ernest Johnson Oval (they all lined up at the public meeting to say they had no problem with the status quo)? I’d like to think that at some point we will get a straight answer.
And to those of you surprised at the whole shemozzle I have a one word reply. Flagpoles.
Credit to Lyndsey Wetton’s article in the Southern Gazette as a reference for this post.
Posted in News