Mayor's Message | Dogs give new fenced park the paws up

One of the benefits of the Mayoral office is the occasional opportunity to get a sneak peek of one of our new projects before it is officially unveiled or opened to the public.

Last Friday afternoon, that privilege was extended to the Mayoral pooch, Archie, who joined a few staff members’ dogs for a test run of our new fenced dog park at Speers Point and to star in a short promotional video.

We are very excited about this new exercise and socialisation area for dogs and their owners – which is the first fully fenced off-lead area in Lake Macquarie.

Archie and his fellow test dogs were excited too, in particular Ace the energetic young Staffy who appeared to leave no blade of grass on the undulating 10,000 square metre enclosure untrodden as he romped happily around the park chasing other dogs and retrieving thrown toys

The community, too, is looking forward to using the new facility, which will be open from Wednesday 16 May.

Dog parks are very much part of our recreational mix these days, and are great places for dogs and their owners alike to meet and socialise.

Nearly one-third of the feedback we received from recent community consultation on our new Dogs in Open Space Policy related to the need for fenced dog parks and dog owners’ preference for exercise areas to be segregated from cyclists, playgrounds, roads and other areas of high activity.

The fenced enclosure at Speers Point gives dogs and their owners a dedicated space away from other park users, making it a safer for dogs and children who may be accompanying them, and more accommodating of smaller or more timid dogs.

There is outdoor furniture for owners to relax on while their pooches run off some steam, including a covered area with a view of the whole enclosure.

The park also includes agility equipment for those dogs that like a challenge.

Lake Macquarie City Council is planning more fenced off-lead areas.

The next will be built at Thomas H Halton Park, at Croudace Bay, as part of a major redevelopment of the recreational facilities in that park.

With almost 80,000 registered dogs in the Lake Macquarie Local Government Area, provision of safe, functional and attractive dog exercise areas will continue to be a high priority.