Who can I contact in Council for further information?
If you would like to contact Nathan Summerss, Recreation Development Officer please email Nathan or alternatively phone Nathan on 4780 5573.
Background to sportsgrounds and dog recreation use?
The issue of dog use on sportsgrounds has been raised from forums such as Sports Council(2) meetings and past community consultation such as dog off-leash trials. When this issue sportsgrounds has been raised, it is considered to be a greater issue when playing “contact” sports, more so than other sporting uses. Contact sports are those in which people must make physical contact as part of the game, and usually this will also result in direct contact with the ground during the game. This includes games such as football, rugby and AFL. Many physical sports however can require running large distances over ground and occasional sliding.
The Blue Mountains Local Government area has a total of 21 sportsgrounds from Lapstone to Mt Victoria. Each of these sportsgrounds receives different sporting uses, ranging from multiple fields regularly booked by a number of sporting groups, to a single field used by one sport for a season. These sportsgrounds also provide large spaces which are available for a variety of casual recreational uses when not booked by a sporting group. This includes recreational dog use. Recreational dog use includes walking a dog on a leash, and also dog off-leash use on some specified areas. Some sportsgrounds may also support regular bookings from organisations such as dog training clubs.
It is estimated that 37.8%(3) of households have a dog, and Council estimates indicate approximately 20,400 dogs known to live within the Blue Mountains(4). Some recognised benefits of pet ownership include health benefits to the owners, companionship, social opportunities and educating children. Access to public open spaces for dogs is also important for health and social benefits to the owners, improved dog behaviour and supporting the popularity of dog ownership.(5)
(See library on this web page for references used)
Contact Sport: A sport that necessarily involves physical contact between players as part of normal play, for example football.
Non-Contact Sport: A sport where participants are physically separated, or where making contact during the course of the game would commit an offense, for example athletics, tennis or soccer.
Informal Recreation: Recreation on a sportsground that does not involve formal sport, e.g kite flying, kicking a ball, picnicking, jogging, dog walking
Compliant: Meeting or in accordance with rules or standards. Willing to obey or to agree to other people's wishes and demands
Non Compliant: Failure to follow an official rule or obey the law. Someone who doesn’t conform to an accepted model or an accepted standard.
Sports Council: The Sports Council is a committee of sports representatives throughtout the Blue Mountains who meet quarterly.
Companion Animals Act 1998
Companion Animals Act 1998
The Companion Animals Act provides the framework for Companion Animal management in NSW, including dogs. Under the Companion Animals Act,
1. Dogs may be walked anywhere on a lead. Except
- Within 10 meters of a childrens playground
- Within 10 meters of a food preparation area
2. Each Local Government Area must provide at least on Dog Off-Leash facility *
* Since the Blue Mountains population is spread over a large area, Council endeavours to provide a range of facilities within reasonable travelling distance to the different parts of the community.
3. Dogs in public places must be kept under effective control at all times. This includes in public recreation areas.
4. A person in charge of a dog must remove and dispose of any faeces which their dog makes whilst in a public space.
5. A dog must not inflict physical harm to other people, animals or property.
The aim of this Act is to provide for effective and responsible care and management of companion animals. Compliance to this Act facilitates responsible and co-operative management of dogs in public spaces.
The full version of the Companion Animals Act 1998 can be accessed from the following link - http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/act+87+1998+cd+0+N