Parking ban dogs visitors

Anne copped a nasty bite on the wrist when a dog by the Fremantle Arts Centre gate lunged at her. Photo supplied

A DECISION to ban visitor parking at the Fremantle Arts Centre has angered some users, including the family of a woman who was bitten by a dog while walking to a class.

Jeanine Auvache said her sister Anne had tool bags in each hand when she passed a woman holding a leashed dog similar to a pit pull at the gate of the art centre earlier this month.

Ms Auvache said just as her sister praised the dog for its good behaviour, it lunged and latched on to her wrist, leaving nasty bruising and a couple of puncture marks.

“The owner has a duty of care to provide her details, which she did not,” Ms Auvache said.

“She left the scene after asking if my sister was ok, which she obviously was not.

“My sister was in shock and wanted to get away from the dog.”

Ms Auvache said she was also unhappy that the council rangers wouldn’t investigate further because there was nothing to identify the owner. She reckons a bit of asking around about pit bulls amongst locals might help.

Photographer Roger Garwood says he heard customers saying they’ll avoid the arts centre’s cafe because of the parking ban, which he says is unfair for a great family-owned business. Photo by Roger Garwood

“Needless to say, if my sister had been able to park within the grounds as she previously has done, this incident would not have occurred.”

Ms Auvache said one of the other women in her sister’s class is elderly and has mobility issues. There had been talk between disgruntled patrons that the council was trying to push people into paid parking next to the leisure centre.

Photographer Roger Garwood heard the same concerns, as well as others saying they’d no longer enrol in future courses or visit the cafe.

He sought answers from the arts centre and got a response he described as “convoluted”, but essentially was about safety.

A council “spokesperson” was more succinct.

“Parking at Fremantle Arts Centre is being managed to ensure the venue precinct can be utilised as accessible public space that can be enjoyed safely year-round.

“The dog bite occurred offsite, outside Fremantle Arts Centre grounds. FAC staff administered first aid and assisted the woman.

“Dogs are not permitted within FAC grounds.”

Mr Garwood says the safety message was slightly undermined by shiny new parking permits issued to art centre staff just as new signage arrived alerting visitors to the ban.

Ms Auvache is looking for any information to help her identify the dog and owner from the November 9 attack, so if you can help send a tip to the Herald at news@fremantleherald.com

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