Dog Exclusion Areas in Sports Fields

Consultation has concluded.

Dogs on Sports FieldsThis consultation has concluded. To view the report that went to the Council meeting of 5 June 2013, and the Minutes with the subsequent Council resolution, please go to the downloads in the Library . If you would like to be informed of further developments on this issue, including further consultation that may take place, please Email or phone Council's Recreation Development Officer.

Dog use on sportsgrounds is an issue which has been raised by sporting groups in the Blue Mountains at different times. The option of considering dog exclusion areas in sportsgrounds is an action of Councils Companion Animals Management Plan, as adopted in 2010. .

  • The Survey has concluded on 28 April 2013. An Summary of the survey can be vewed in the Library . Please note that this summary is on overview only. Further analyses on parameters in the data is required to obtain trends.
  • Guestbook comments have also concluded. The comments made however can be viewed in the Guestbook below.
  • A summary of all issues raised through this initial stage of the consultation can be viewed in the Library . This includes issues raised through the surveys, guestbook and letters.
  • Please read the FAQs and Background Information and associated documents in the Library
  • Email or phone Council's Recreation Development Officer.

Other phases to this consultation include a Steering Committee Workshop from community representatives, and a Public Exhibition of the outcomes. Please read below for more details.

Dogs on Sports FieldsThis consultation has concluded. To view the report that went to the Council meeting of 5 June 2013, and the Minutes with the subsequent Council resolution, please go to the downloads in the Library . If you would like to be informed of further developments on this issue, including further consultation that may take place, please Email or phone Council's Recreation Development Officer.

Dog use on sportsgrounds is an issue which has been raised by sporting groups in the Blue Mountains at different times. The option of considering dog exclusion areas in sportsgrounds is an action of Councils Companion Animals Management Plan, as adopted in 2010. .

  • The Survey has concluded on 28 April 2013. An Summary of the survey can be vewed in the Library . Please note that this summary is on overview only. Further analyses on parameters in the data is required to obtain trends.
  • Guestbook comments have also concluded. The comments made however can be viewed in the Guestbook below.
  • A summary of all issues raised through this initial stage of the consultation can be viewed in the Library . This includes issues raised through the surveys, guestbook and letters.
  • Please read the FAQs and Background Information and associated documents in the Library
  • Email or phone Council's Recreation Development Officer.

Other phases to this consultation include a Steering Committee Workshop from community representatives, and a Public Exhibition of the outcomes. Please read below for more details.

Below  is a Guestbook for comments.  You are encouraged to make comments on the subject of dog use on sportsgrounds.  Some subjects which you could comment about include

  • Sportgrounds being large available spaces for many potential uses.
  • Doing sport or recreation in an area that is also shared for dog recraetion.
  • Etiquette of responsible dog ownership in public places.
  • Effects of poor dog behaviour and poor owner management in public places.
  • Ways of achieving co-operative uses in sportsgrounds.

Guestbook comments can be viewed by other people, giving them a chance to understand the range of opinions on this subject. 

In addition to your Guestbook comments, you are encouraged to complete the on-line survey. The Survey is an important way for Council to capture a consistent response to key questions on this topic.

All feedback from this consultation will be considered and contribute to a report to the Councillors.

Good practice in ensuring public resources are equitably shared is evidenced by other councils throughout Sydney and no doubt across the country and beyond - things that immediately come to mind are appropriate fencing and waste disposal facilities and usage/schedule information available re: grounds . Also some acknowledgement of dog-owners right to use grounds to legitimise this long-standing activity. It appears that the majority of postings want dog walking by rate-payers to continue in sports grounds and these responses are most probably representative of the population. I am seriously disillusioned by the BMCC to the point that I wouldn’t be surprised if our calls to have a fair share of public resources are ignored. If this be the case I call on others to advise of opportunities that can be taken to pursue further advice regarding the legitimacy and legality of excluding and in essence discriminating against dog owners. Seriously what are you going to do? You don’t and will never be able to manage those who graffiti, damage property or wilfully break ‘rules’ in other ways. Policy development to date has evidenced the biases and cognitive weakness of council decision makers; now potentially effecting a large % of people who up until now have been paying rates, exercising their dogs responsibly to enrich their lives and avoid barking issues. Seriously do you want to keep alienating the hands that feed you? With current financial, management and skilling issues etc. faced by councils perhaps reducing layers of government is appropriate.

Own a dog - Had enough over 6 years ago

In the 20 years I have been using sporting ovals in the lower Mountains to exercise and train my dogs there have been very few occasions when etiquette of responsible dog ownership and poor behaviour by dogs or their owners has become a problem. Complete banning is not the solution, it will only drive the more irresponsible dog owners somewhere else where they can get away with bad manners and unruly behaviour. That would really give the council something to worry about.

hope over 6 years ago

Fight extremism in council. Don't let mayor myles & councillor luchetti push through this disgraceful ban.If we can defeat them we can engage in an intelligent dialogue with all users of blue mountains public spaces about the responsible use of these areas for dog owners & sports players

Sergeant baker over 6 years ago

I am a dog owner and parent of 3 children who have all played sport year round, for the last 11 years, on Lower Mountains ovals (St Johns, Warimoo, Knapsack, Summerhayes) None of us can remember ever getting dog poo on them or even stepping in any. However, sportspeople are fully entitled to a clean playing field and I don't doubt that there is the odd incident. A bigger problem seems to be litter and occasionally glass. Most dog owners are responsible and will clean up after their dogs if necessary and keep them controlled. I enjoy walking my dogs to the kids sports events on a weekend and then watching the game. It does us all good. You will never legislate against the irresponsible minority - these public spaces are for all ratepayers and I am tired of council trying to dictate what we can and can't do.There is not a problem so don't try to fix it.

romod over 6 years ago

Why is that two Blue Mountains councillors are getting away with pushing this ban through, when it is overwhelmingly opposed by the majority of the community? Who exactly do they think they represent? Just themselves? This issue shows the blatant contempt that these 'representatives' have for their constituents. It is truly abhorrent and they should be investigated. I smell corruption. They should go to a psychiatrist and come to terms with their personal hatred of animals - not punish the ENTIRE BLUE MOUNTAINS COMMUNITY for their sad little hang ups. What an absolute abuse of power. What an obscene misuse of their position. Deplorable!!!! The public will not lie down quietly about this.

Ellen A over 6 years ago

THE FOOTBALL SEASON HAS STARTED! I walk my dog past the blackheath oval, I saw that they were clearing out their store room and saw that they had dumped some chairs and a wash basin on the parking area, the following week they had a match and used a plastic barrier held on with cable ties, after the match this was removed and the cableties were either cut off and dropped on the ground or were left on the fence, added to this the general rubbish of cartons, cans, food scraps and discarded clothing and a blanket left for someone else to pick up after them spoiled the walks for the rest of the week! Can you guess what happened on the following saturday? the same thing again! .I have also checked out the grounds after the dog training club finished and they've left it in a clean condition.I have asked the council if they have a special deal as regards the clean up after their games; No answer yet.I do hope that the cost dos'nt come out of the rates.

Denise B over 6 years ago

I oppose the proposed dog exclusion areas. We walk our dog twice a day across Melrose Park, Katoomba. It is frequented by LOTS of "responsible" dog owners ( plastic bags in hand). It is used as a sporting oval for a handful of cricket matches a year! So it is hard to currently define this oval as a "sporting oval"! Furthermore there is little evidence of irresponsible dog owners, I don't want to tread in dog poo any more than anyone else! and thankfully because the majority of us are considerate this is unlikely to happen at this park!

Georgi over 6 years ago

We live in a society where are dogs are a part of our family. You wouldn't consider child exclusion zones would you??? Just because there are people who don't know what it feels like to have the love and companionship of let's do the rest of the community need to suffer???? I love rolling up to the sports ground in a weekend, pooches and all, lying in the ground and Cherring the kids on whilst the pups cheer on their mates too and say hello to all their mates. Come on its a big world, surely there is plenty of space to share and enjoy it with our best friends!!!

Nilgiri over 6 years ago

KuriaboIt seems such a shame that the scheme is named `Dog Exclusion Areas'. Why then ask for comments when the Council's intentions are so defined. Must we struggle to gain any small concession.It surely couldn't have been all that hard to ask for help in we Ratepayer SHARING all the facilities we pay for. I also wonder if any of the Councillers read these comments.

kuriabo over 6 years ago

In my younger days , I did some caring for the elderly,which included walking their dogs,that would not have been able to be exercised otherwise.Luckily there was no mention of such a thoughtless restriction in those days.I also met some very good people on those walks....much more acceptable than the usual miseries amongst us today.Now , at age 73 , still able to walk my dog and meet the good people also grown older,I think who is going to walk my dog and WHERE,when I grow too old to do this?I grew up with dogs,cats and other livestock overseas and I never encountered any bias against dogs etc.Sad to say,many of the letters on this website echo the same comparisons with overseas.I came to the mountains in 1981 to be able to live in a house instead of a city unit,so that I could once again enjoy the company of dogs,but since the companion animals act came in this council has gone overboard with attitude.I remember the then "dog catcher"hiding behind trees to jump out when he saw a dog off leash,but under full control by me in an area which was not built up.He quoted,like a zombie,sections of the act,but omitted to quote that councils were to provide suitable off leash areas.I asked where this was and he was unable to tell me.Whatever the outcome of this issue you can bet that council will order the rangers,to police all areas,short of harassment , to make life even more difficult for mountains folk.As I said to the dog-catcher all those years ago,he should be exercising his authority towards effectively curbing barking,dangerous and stray dogs.

Sam over 6 years ago

Katoomba councillors seem to have a decidedly fanatical and obsessive view on dog poo. How about the same fanaticism about the mess left by humans, both sportspeople and spectators. For heaven's sake, just put up some bins and supply plastic bags (for those people who forget one for their own dog). I haven't caught a disease from a dog yet. Those Europeans seem to be a pretty healthy bunch and guess what? Their dogs are allowed anywhere at all, in restaurants, on trains, in parks and even sports ovals. Oh, and another thing, maybe the councillors could become obsessed about the mess that is Katoomba Street, and there wasn't any dog poo there the last time I looked.

meglet over 6 years ago

The problem is that the mess is also left by cats, feral, strays and those allowed out by their owners. On top of this is the waste from wild animals that come on the grounds at night etc. so by stopping responsible dog owners from exercising their dogs the general level of mess is not going to be reduced by a lot. If the council can find a way to prevent all of these possibly disease carrying creatures then they should patent this and sell it to the world, the profit they will make should reduce our taxes to nil. Until then let us exercise our dogs in a responsible way.

Smart a** Pom over 6 years ago

Having recently spent 6 weeks in the UK, where, unlike Australia, dogs are considered a part of the community, I was disgusted to hear of this latest council proposal. Haven't our draconian councillors heard of the health benefits of socializing with dogs? I've met more people, and made more friends, walking my dog in the various parks near where we live than at any "sporting" match. As for the local off-leash area, even there council can't supply us with doggy do bins or plastic bag dispensers, which are seen all over towns & villages in Britain. Local dog walkers not only bring their own bags to the off-leash area, they leave bundles of extra bags for those who forget. There's personal responsibility for you, unlike the mess left behind on Saturday afternoons at our nearby sports field. And those owners who don't pick up after their dogs? I carry spare plastic bags to hand out whenever I see this happen, and a low-cost education campaign by council would certainly be more popular with rate-payers than this half-baked idea. Or am I missing something? Perhaps certain sporting groups have more influence with council members than a very large number of ordinary rate-payers / voters? And while you're at it, an education campaign regarding litter should also target those yobs who haven't the energy to do more than drop their greasy fast-food wrappings at their feet while watching a football match, and the cretin who turned a garbage bin upside down at Blackheath oval, spilling a mountain of rubbish over the field. What plans does council have to ban these undesirables from our green spaces?

Denise B over 6 years ago

40% of Blue Mountains residents own dogs. We love our dogs and must have somewhere safe to exercise them. Increase fines for the occasional irresponsible dog owner who does not pick up after their dog.Australia is in the dark ages as far as companion animal rules are concerned. Dogs are allowed on buses and trains in UK and Europe. Dogs allowed in pubs, very expensive restaurants in Paris permit dogs. Australia is not dog friendly. Stupid councillors don't help.

Dezi over 6 years ago

I am quite angry right now. My dog - in the off leash area at the Old Lawson Golf course - just rolled in HUMAN poo. Why complain about dog poo when HUMANS don't bother to pick up their own waste?

Bec H over 6 years ago

Melrose Park in North Katoomba has about 8 cricket matches a year. Are you seriously going to ban 365 days of loving dog owners walking their dogs, from this park because of 8 days per year? Please let common sense prevail - and the greater needs of your local community prevail. Agree with Sylv - just install plastic bag dispensers and bins to encourage the very few who don't pick up their doggydoo.

Albionresident over 6 years ago

Mayor myles is trying to stall a decision on the dog ban until community passions cool off. He & councillor luchetti can then sneak the ban through with less fuss. Hence the "have your say" extension. These 2 lower mountaiins councillors see sport as more popular among lower mountains voters , however not all councillors from that region, share their strong anti dog views. Councillor greenhill for example (also lower mountains) is more rational. This is one of the reasons myles & luchetti support this discriminatory, unworkable & downright silly ban.

whistleblower over 6 years ago

Humans have created the domestic dog over 10,000 years, the dog has become one of the most intelligent living creatures in the known universe. The dog has the ability to learn traits from other species such as our selves, it is only a crying shame we do not learn as much from them. I see humans constantly taking more and more from this planet without understanding the consequences. Playing sport was once a friendly recreation to bolster community spirit and give people something to chat about through the week until the next game, life has changed that into a compelling competition to win. I grew up with my parents standing on the sideline with my beloved dog supporting my team. He would have loved to be out there with us chasing the ball, but he still enjoyed the spectacle and the outing with his family. We adopted him as a puppy into our family as we humans do with our pets. We loved his human traits but mostly loved him for being a dog. Dogs wear their emotions well, we can see a dog is happy or sad, anxious or excited. Developing the best behaviour into our pets is a benefit to all as a friendly happy dog will always be welcome to most animal lovers. By not allowing dogs to be with us in these environments will slowly create a separation from dogs and the general population. Children that are not familiar with dogs will always have a fear of them, slowly over time people will only like their pets and no other. This will form an un trust between pet owners and subsequently their dogs will also pick up this trait. We are now heading down a path where humans think being social is having several hundred friends on Facebook. People I know with dogs, that go for a walk are generally more likely to smile and say hello as you walk past, and a friendly dog is always ready for you to make friends without question. Stop and give a friendly dog a pat and exchange pleasantries with the dog and the owner and I guarantee you will feel as if your day has become brighter. Do not fear dogs, become a friend and they will teach you to be a little less suspicious of others and the human race may become more humane once again.

cucv30 over 6 years ago

let's stop punishing the majority of responsible owners for the actions of a few irresponsible ones! This " exclusion" approach misses the point of community and sharing totally. enforce anti- littering by all ( incl dog owners not picking up faeces where people and kids can tread in easily) and encourage dog walkers as they are the eyes on the street making our street and houses safer as someone is watching, plus drivers seeing more people on the roads are likely to slow down and not just zoom through empty landscapes.

LowerMountains over 6 years ago

Plastic bag dispensers and bins should be installed at all sportsgrounds and designated dog walking areas as they are in other parts of Australia where I have lived. This encourages the few irresponsible dog owners to do the right thing or anyone who forgets their bag. Money well spent and everybody is happy. Why does council want to alienate a large proportion of their rate payers?

Sylv over 6 years ago