Dog Exclusion Areas in Sports Fields

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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.

Guest Book

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.

I've lived near Leura Oval for 25 years and have yet to see any organised sporting activity taking place there.I have however been there on countless afternoons when up to 30 dogs have enjoyably cavorted around , chasing balls and each other, sniffing and wagging tails, stretching their legs and taking in a change of scenery.Dogs, like humans, are social creatures and need exercise and interaction for a healthy life.There is only one small space in Leura where dogs are permitted to wander freely and during winter, this is effectively limited to an hour a day, as long as you're home by 4pm! If you don't get home until after 5, you and your dog are buggered, or breaking the law.The vast majority of dog owners are responsible people who clean up after their dogs. People who don't do so or who have aggressive dogs, either don't come to the oval or are are socially pressured to do the right thing. Irresponsible owners are unlikely to comply with any Council by-laws. Any further restrictions contemplated will only unfairly penalise the responsible owners and their dogs.

Mountain Boy over 7 years ago

Whoever came up with this one????? Most dog owners, and I include myself in this, are responsible, care for their dogs and clean up after them. Our canine companions bring joy to the elderly, the lonely, children, families and all other dog lovers. Why do authorities constantly seek ways to persecute this large section of our society? We already have such poor services for dogs in the Mountains. Any city locality puts us to shame. All dogs and their owners should not be punished for the poor behaviour of a few. Is there no sense of justice and no understanding of the crucial role a canine companion plays in many people's lives? I myself live across the road from a "Sportsground" and believe me when I say I would much prefer Dogs and their Owners to the rude and inconsiderate players and parents who use this sportsground. The language that we hear on a weekend is disgusting. Let alone the ability, or should I say the inability, to get in and out of ones own driveway....

SamiB over 7 years ago

One solution...is to provide more and bigger off lead areas for dogs......fully fenced, with a fence min 150cm high.......something that a big dog could have a decent run around and also big enough so dogs can get aware from each other.........the current areas are next to useless.......what idiot in council would think its fine to have an unfenced dog area next to the GWH

Pointer over 7 years ago

like to add to the remark of "the council guy"in PeteTheBeat's letter ref. bans in England.This is only so in areas where there are manicured botanical type gardens , naturally unsuitable to allow dogs to roam around etc.What the council guy omitted to say was that the people in UK and most of Western Europe are extremely dog friendly and would be appalled at the attitude we are experiencing in the "lucky country"!!!Council,per tourism gurus, sports aggros hoping for a local lad to reach the Olympics and Coles cultural centre,is sitting too smugly in its box at the top of Katoomba to be able to reach out and take notice of the apparent voice of the people who live here,not only on this issue but many others I have watched over 32 years.I had hoped that the dead wood would have been swept away by now but more of it is being voted in.Voters,please, in future make sure what your chosen candidate is all about before you vote.

Sam over 7 years ago

Let me get this straight. Whenever I walk my dog after weekend soccer matches, I have to carefully steer her away from broken glass and rubbish. I've even trodden on broken glass in the middle of the tennis court while having a hit. The council doesn't care two hoots about this sort of thing, as I don't run a sports club. They don't care about aggressive spectators and players who swear offensively in front of my kids at local matches. Not their problem. No need to police that. But the occasional stray dog may leave a poo on a huge oval and now the sports clubs and council want to ban me from lawfully walking my dog? Pull the other one. This is wrong on so many levels. What exactly did me and my pet do for them to start treating me like an unwanted criminal? Why not ban everyone from driving cars because occasionally someone drives like an idiot. That is how extreme and unfair this thing is. It is also incredibly out of touch with how the bulk of the community feels about dogs.

Bemused over 7 years ago

No more. Enough is enough. My dogs are more important to me than the whinging, whining, narcissistic, bullying, ever complaining low life who run to Council everytime a domestic pet murmurs an utterance. Those people are the ones who need banning. Give them the message loud and clear Council, we the dog people of the Blue Mountains have had a gut full. We will no longer be silent. The majority are speaking up for and on behalf of their voiceless pets. Learn some TOLERANCE of your fellow resident. Learn to give and take. Clean up your own mess, plastic bags, empty food containers, leftover chicken carcasses, broken bottles, drink containers of every shape and size, dirty nappies, used condoms, vomit, human faeces, underwear, tape, cigarette butts, cigarette packets, chewing gum, lolly wrappers, lighters, you name it and I bet its been left on one of the ovals and / or parks after a human gathering. No the dogs didn't leave the disgusting mess behind. They haven't even got out of the car yet. They are waiting patiently until the mess is cleared so they can SAFELY get to the grass area. Oh yeah that has to be cleaned up too. But never fear the dog owner will clean it up. 'Effects of poor behaviour, poor management in public places' surely you jest if these are to be applied to dogs. Take a good hard look at the human effects. That is where you'll find they can easily be applied.

Pookie over 7 years ago

Like the council, I have been thinking it is time to ban the use of the sporting grounds by the polluters. Each time there is a rugby game on Lapstone oval, the amount of rubbish left behind is dreadful-cups, papers, bottles, etc. It is worse when the club uses the sporting club for evening parties, and the pollution left behind is disgusting. Monday morning after a weekend game is always the worst morning for a walk, and on more than on occasion I have had to pull my dog away from some dreadful mess. But I know that we live in a community where we need to accommodate others, and need to encourage everyone to do the right thing, rather than ban sporting groups from using the fields. When I saw the current proposal I initially thought it was for the protection of the dogs who are exposed to the rubbish after each game, but then I realised what it was. It is for the protection of a princess rugby player who might have trod in a little natural dropping. Oh dear-how will he cope. What a shame. Maybe a solution is to ban rugby spectators. Maybe another is to keep the players on a lead. Or maybe another is to accept that we live in a community, and need to accept everyone's need to use a common facility that both dog owners and sports players pay for, and encourage everyone to do the right thing. The majority of dog owners do the right thing, and would do so more if the council took a positive step of providing bags at all sporting fields. The alternative solution is to make rules which will never be followed, will create divisions is the local community, and make the Blue Mountains Council the laughing stock of the country.

Fair Go over 7 years ago

Is this some sort of joke? What sort of mean sad sack would stop a family from walking their dog at the park? As a rate payer, I'm not real impressed by where this is all heading. The council guy apparently said "they ban dogs from parks in some parts of England" - suggesting we should copy that as a model. When did we stop being an independent country with our own way of life? It makes about as much sense as saying "the US have hand guns so we should copy their gun laws" or "Muslim women wear burqas in some parts of the world so lets introduce that here too, because we got a complaint about a woman showing some skin". Look - there isn't a problem so don't meddle and spoil everything.

PeteTheBeat over 7 years ago

The open spaces should be available to all responsible residents. As both a dog owner and users of the grounds for sports, my family and I enjoy both. Restricting access by dog owners would not solve any problems, it would just remove the compliant owners. Actually, I didn't realise there was a problem.

Jenny over 7 years ago

Great - I'll stop exercising my dog and myself - I'll get fat and sick and my bully neighbour can come back and harrass me about my dog barking out of boredom! Oh that's right there's a three fold flier outlining 'measures' against dog barking and one for excessive noise too - it keeps me in a state of threat but it doesn't stop them from using ear splitting machinery in their yard etc. Sorry but I have been driven to sarcasm as I frankly have had enough of council policy and procedures.Actually - why does the council have to go this pathway - are't there case studies and urban planning initiatives which provide good models to enable mixed living. See the sensible suggestions from MarcusB !!Committees - a lot can be said for the outcomes of committee - they should do a study about the nature/weakenesses of human cognition and hits and misses of policy development as a prequisite.Dog owners pay rates, they patrol grounds on and off season - they keep fit and healthy, their dogs engaged, they socialise with others and are a vital presence in the community simply by being out and about in all weather. None of the facilties in my areas are comprehensive or users needs- some have bins that are locked away and one lead free even has overgrown paths, mud holes, snakes and oddly behaving people lurking about. Yes and thank you for the latest fenceless dog zone (AKA after thought) in Blaxland - does council want dogs to find their way onto the highway and under a car!A call out to sporting groups - I understand that many are dog owners too so I am not considering this as a blanket us and them. However I have been appauled at the amount of litter and plastic bottles strewn about the fields after certain game days - on too many occasions - and I have been stupid enough to halt the dog and pick it all up and bin it!! Hows that for irresponsible? All users need educating - not just dog owners - but how to get along effectively in shared spaces and human factors/behaviours have to be considered in all usage issues. All areas need to include appropriate facilties - well spaced litter and dog bins, regular usage and lead free schedules - and communications should be expressed differently to what is currently provided.BMCC - get with the times - and stop biting the hands that feed you!

Own a dog - Had enough over 7 years ago

I must send another comment , that is , apart from the sports mad , selfish litter louts themselves,I strongly suspect the newly elected councillors have a hand in this.One of them has already hinted at closing down another community facility-Blackheath Pool-even before he was elected and hurriedly retracted!!!!! It takes 2 to tango,that is ,the sporting agitators and councillors.I question the legality of banning anyone with a dog from using publicly maintained areas with public money .Even most dogs have paid a fee to live here...did anyone think of that?

Sam over 7 years ago

Just - no! Things are satisfactory as they are. I love my weekend sport AND I love to take my dog there for a walk. I also enjoy taking him to training at Lawson, where the people there make an extra effort to keep the ground in good shape. Please don't make this a sporting clubs vs dogs issue. No-one I know on my team would want this ban. We are mostly dog lovers too! Is a small minority of moaning, powermad 'do-gooders' trying to sway the council and spoil it for everyone else? M. Peters.

Melissa over 7 years ago

The world has gone mad! Since when did the Blue Mountains become a Nazi-run gated community? Who on earth dreamed up this appalling policy? It's outrageous!!! Our interaction with domestic animals is one of the most pleasant things we have going for us in this day and age. There is probably one dog for every two houses up here in the Mountains and yet the council are trying to prevent us from walking them on OUR rate-funded grounds? Will we get a discount off our rates if we aren't allowed to walk our dogs in community areas that our rates facilitate? What's next? Would the council like us to pay for their soccer jerseys and boots as well? Not has crazy as it sounds, since they want us to pay for "their" exclusive use of fields. This is how silly and disturbing the whole thing sounds. Where does this end? Are the council also going to ban us from walking dogs on all the footpaths? I really can't see how it's any more detrimental to walk a dog on an oval than a footpath. Are they going to ban dogs altogether and have them all put down? There are far more unpleasant 'incidents' with belligerent sports players than incidents with dogs. Why not stamp out those?. Stamp out the piles of rubbish that they leave on weekends after matches, which is far and away more prevalent than the very occasional dog waste. It's frightening to see all our freedoms being gradually eroded. Someone at the council has completely lost the plot.

Ellen A over 7 years ago

This whole exercise is a beatup brought on by a bunch of sporting types who think that they warrant special treatment by the Council. Firstly, there is no higher concentration of doggy-doo on sportsgrounds than on the surrounding streets. Perhaps, we should be agitating for a complete ban on walking dogs on a public street, to illustrate how stupid the proposal to ban dogs on sports ovals really is.

lozza over 7 years ago

Dog walking is a sport in itself. Dog walking facilities are important and a community necessity. Leashed walking needs to remain

Sioux over 7 years ago

My recommendation is to: 1. Create a shared space with part for main sports activity and an area for dog walking. If not possible have a completely mixed space with times when available for use by either group2. Have dog poo bags available and bins3. Ensure it's off leash at certain times to encourage many responsible dog owners4. Responsible dog owners will then police irresponsible ones.The above takes a much more proactive approach that has worked well in the city of Sydney. Dogs bring much joy to may lives, don't take a draconian approach, but find a better more integrated way by actually encouraging dog use.

MarcusB over 7 years ago

Not all dog owners are responsible but the majority are. The same can be said for sports people & BMC Councillors. Join the real world. Even if the banning proposal was fair (in fact its repugnant) bans never work, they only make things worse.

Sergeant baker over 7 years ago

Every dog owner is a responsible dog owner. just ask them. I don't know why the dog droppings appear on or next to footpaths. why when I leave my gate open my yard becomes a toilet. when I bush walk, little bags are left near gates and entries for collection at a later time, which can turn into never. Why dogs are let out of yards in the mornings to do their business. Why at 2 am in the morning, the melodic tones of a dog choir can ring out across the mountains. Why are so many dogs off leash in non designated areas.In a perfect world, the above would not occur. just consider that there may be people whose views differ. All this shows is that the majority of respondants, are responsible dog owners, who clean up after their pets.

cucv93 over 7 years ago

Getting a little tired of the minority calling the shots. The sporting group who use our park for cricket every saturday for 3 months of the year, want to tell us, who use the park everyday to walk our dogs, that we can't? Don't punish the responsible dog owners who are in the majority. PC rubbish.

rubydog over 7 years ago

I think this issue comes down to personal responsibility on all sides. Dog poop being a health issue seems to be just an excuse. There are many other native animals who leave deposits on sports fields. However, at soccer training the other day I say two children (not mine) absolutely terrified of a puppy that was running around off its leash. One was a 12 year old boy who ran almost hysterically away from the puppy that thought it was a game. The child's father had to scoop him up in his arms like a toddler and comfort him, he was so scared. The puppy just wanted to play but the child didn't know this just as the owner didn't know that there were children around afraid of dogs. If dog owners keep their dogs on leads when there are other members of the public around and clean up any poop, then there should be no reason why they can't share sporting grounds. At the same time, sporting groups and individuals need to make sure they clean up any rubbish at sports grounds too. As I said at the beginning - PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY from all parties. Unfortunately this seems to be too much to ask so we then get minority groups trying to enact legislation that then needs to be enforced at a cost to all. Seems the world has gone mad!

soccer mum over 7 years ago