Three new dog parks are on the way for Canning Vale after the City of Canning council voted in support of upgrades to some of its existing parks.
At its September 19 meeting council voted to change Akania Park, Connaught Park and Kinnerton Gardens into dog exercise areas and will build new fences to separate them from adjacent community areas costing more than $45,000.
Burtonia Park, Cantella Park, Fairfield Park and The Green Park were rejected as dog exercise areas.
The decision was a long time coming and followed a deferral at a council meeting in June, after council could not decide on the matter.
However the proposal to change Connaught Park met with opposition from some in the community due to its close proximity to Ranford Primary School.
Ranford Primary School community representative Gillian Ravlic spoke at the meeting and said allowing dogs to exercise near a primary school could have dangerous consequences.
“Why is the Canning city council willing to compromise the safety of 465 children attending the school to satisfy a few residents’ desire to run their dogs off-leash?” she said.
However councillor Patrick Hall, who raised the motion, said it was important because nearly 700 dogs were registered in Canning Vale yet the area had only one dog park.
“I feel very sorry tonight for the residents of Canning Vale,” he said.
“They’re an outpost of the city that has been somewhat forgotten for years.”
There are 67 dog exercise areas in the City of Canning, but only one in Canning Vale.
Mr Hall said there was a legislative requirement for councils to provide exercise areas for dogs, and the city had failed to do so in Canning Vale thus far.
He said a fence would be built at Connaught Park to separate it from Ranford Primary School and that the school could not buffer itself from everything in the community.
“What next, do we stop flying of frisbies? Do we stop cyclists lest they strike a child on the way to school?” he said.
“There is literally zero risk.”
Councillor Lindsay Holland voted against the proposal and said spending more than $45,000 to convert regular parks into dog exercise areas was not sensible, especially given the little community feedback to the proposal received.
“We’re spending $24,750 on Kinnerton Gardens park based on four responses,” he said.
“At Akania Park we’re spending $10,400 on the responses of seven people.
“At Connaught Park we’re spending $12,760 on 12 responses.
“I cannot agree to be spending that sort of money in this area for the lack of responses we got.”
However Mr Holland’s comments were not enough to convince the council, which voted in support of the three recommended parks.