'Highly anticipated community outcome': City of Mandurah councillors still considering location for enclosed dog park

Photo: Shutterstock.
Photo: Shutterstock.

City of Mandurah councillors are expected to decide on a location for an enclosed dog park next week, after deferring the item at the last council meeting.

Elected representatives were expected to approve a fully fenced dog park at the Leslie Street Reserve in Dudley Park at a council meeting on November 26.

However, after a number of public comments against the site, councillors instead decided to defer the item to allow more time for community feedback, before making a decision.

The City of Mandurah has been considering a dog park for a number of years and set the ball in motion in April this year, asking residents for their thoughts about seven potential locations.

The Leslie Street Reserve was selected after extensive public consultation because it is centrally located, has adequate space, good grass covering and plenty of shade.

Peekaboo Doggy Day Care owner Janine Pace spoke against the Leslie Street Reserve location in a deputation to council on November 26.

Ms Pace cited particular concerns for the high traffic volume in the area and suggested using Mary Street in Halls Head instead.

"Safety of the dogs should be paramount and Leslie Street is an accident waiting to happen," she said.

"Mary Street is already popular with dogs and walkers and is bigger so you can have small and large dog spaces."

While responsible off-lead areas for dogs already exist within throughout Mandurah, the enclosed dog park, which is expected to attract more than 80 dog owners per day, will help to contribute to better socialised dogs and create a community space for dog owners to socialise.

It is not yet known how much the dog park will cost to build however it is expected to cost $25,000 a year in ongoing operational costs.

This will include picking up uncollected dog waste, emptying bins, filling in holes and general repairs.

After the last council meeting, Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams told the Mandurah Mail elected representatives were "really appreciative" of the many community members involved in the consultation process.

He added that it was important for councillors to "take a bit more of a deeper dive" into all the options again before approving a location.

"It's obviously a really highly anticipated community outcome that people want because I know there are lots of dog lovers in Mandurah," he said.

"We're looking forward to delivering this project but we've deferred it for another month to have a little bit more of a discussion around the appropriate location.

"In a month's time we will be able to inform the community of where the location will be."

Mr Williams said, with more than 15,000 registered dogs in the City of Mandurah, this dog park would be just the start of hopefully many more to come.

"We see, over the next decade, other local dog parks popping up in different parts in the city," he said.

"This location won't be suitable for everyone but we'll make sure there will be other locations in the future."

The councillors have since received a briefing from the City of Mandurah officers in charge of the project and the item is expected to be back on the agenda at the December 17 council meeting.