OVER 300 hundred people have signed a petition to have off-leash dog areas at Fremantle’s Booyeembara Park.
Fremantle council says it’s wary of agreeing following two incidents at the park last year, including one where a child was endangered.
Lead petitioner Susie Hawkins says she would like to see pooches roaming free in the grassy stretch between the olive trees and golf course, and on some paths fenced off to wildlife.
“Piney Lakes is very similar to Booyeembara Park, with water and an abundance of wildlife, but it has successfully incorporated off-leash areas. That should be our template,” she says.
“There are off-leash areas in Horrie Long reserve, but it is the other side of Leach Highway, and Stevens Reserve has sport on it, so they aren’t entirely suitable, plus we have disabled access at this park.”
“Recently Fremantle council stuck signs everywhere saying the whole of Booyeembara park is dogs on leads only.
“Piney Lakes have respectful signs showing where you can have dogs off leash, where they are required to be on a leash and where they are prohibited.”
East Ward Cr Ingrid Waltham says the extra signs were added following two incidents with dogs at the park last year, including one involving a child.
“There was a bit of a reaction to all the new signs from dog walkers because they thought it had been changed to on-leash, but that’s always been the case,” she says.
“I’m keeping an open mind on this one, but protecting children, who use the playground, and the wildlife will always be my priority.”
Ms Hawkins’ petition was tabled at a recent committee meeting by Cr Dave Coggin and Cr Waltham says the issue is set to go out for community consultation.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK