FUN AND GAMES: Southern Downs Regional Council will explore options for an off-leash dog park in Warwick and Stanthorpe following a petition lodged in January.
FUN AND GAMES: Southern Downs Regional Council will explore options for an off-leash dog park in Warwick and Stanthorpe following a petition lodged in January. Rob Williams

Petition push for dog parks

SOUTHERN Downs Council officers will investigate plans for an off-leash dog park after officially receiving a petition for one to be built in Warwick.

With more 472 signatures, the petition spearheaded by Jess Martin was passed to the council engineering department for further planning.

Mrs Martin said she was driven to start the petition when she moved to the area.

"I have two large dogs and I was at a loss as to how there was no dedicated off-leash area here in Warwick,” she said.

"I would like to see a fairly sizeable area for the dogs to be able to run around in and exercise, because otherwise I don't think people would use it and it would be a waste of money.

"I'm super excited we've gotten to this point and I'm excited to see what the engineering director has to say.”

The council previously tabled some options for an off-leash dog area in April 2012, as well as a similar petition in March 2014 that was considered in budget discussions, but did not secure funding.

Mrs Martin said she hoped registration and impounding fees could be used to help establish and maintain the dog park, and offered location suggestions.

"A few of the places that came up with people signing the petition were Federation Park on Victoria St, Victoria Park near the hospital and Mel Gibson Park on Bracker Rd,” she said.

"Henry Joppich Park was also suggested but personally I don't think that's central enough or as easily accessible for some people.”

Councillor Marika McNichol said it was a good project to put forward.

"I did have one lady contact me on the election campaign and say she wanted a bench where older people like herself could sit and watch their dogs,” Cr McNichol said.

"Especially for older people with dogs I think the social benefits make it something that is needed in the area and worthwhile pursuing.”

Deputy mayor Jo McNally pushed to have the engineering department consider a similar option in Stanthorpe.

"I think if we're looking at having one just for Warwick, we should consider Stanthorpe as well,” Cr McNally said.

"Stanthorpe already has a suitable area without a fence around it so if a dog off-leash park was established it should have fence for protection.

"I would like to change the recommendation to include (Stanthorpe) in the report to come back to council in March.”



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