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.

Does the elitist minority that is trying to ram this hateful ban through Council even know the below report exists & how much is their "workshop/steering committee" costing the ratepayers?:Below excerpts from the "introduction" & "conclusion" of a recent study commisioned for the ACT government by Michael Hayward BVSc CMAVA (Australian Veterinary Association), on risks of dog faeces on sports grounds. "In the author’s opinion, risks to human health can be more effectively and morepractically reduced by educating the public about the need to maintain good doghealth......& by encouraging compliance with existing laws requiring the removal of faeces from public places........."The risks to humans of dog faeces on sporting fields must also be balanced against the benefits to humans of exercising dogs. For many people, the time spent exercising their dog is the main exercise they get. Health benefits of pet ownership include reduction in stress, increased survival after cardio-vascular incidents and reduction in blood pressure. Pet owners make fewer visits to the doctor, amounting to an estimated saving of $3.86 billion to Australia’s annual health budget.......For many people, dogs are their main companions and friends, and one of their few links into society. A person walking a dog has been shown to be five times more likely to engage in conversation than someone walking alone".www.gungahlinvet.com.au/ petcare-info/ publications/ dog-faeces-on-sporting-fields-a-review-for-the-act-government.pdf

whistleblower over 7 years ago

On Thursday 7th March, 2012 at the beginning of a normal club meeting, approximately 38 members of Blue Mountains Dog Training Club were requested to keep a keen eye out for dog faeces on the Blackheath oval. This was a fair dinkum unprepared request, no fiddling involved.The members were happy to go along with the request, and kept a keen eye as they trained for one hour back and forth, up and down the oval. No dog faeces were found on the oval.During the tea break, members walked around the park/garden area adjacent to the oval and one faeces was found at quite some distance from the oval.There are 38 witnesses.Is it too much to ask that Sporting Groups do a quick check of the oval prior to commencing their activity and remove any undesired objects such as broken glass, syringes, plastic bottles, wire tent pegs, discarded pens, sharp pointed sticks and other tree debris, discarded sandwiches and drink cartons? Used first aid dressings and bandages, clothing, plastic toys, and dead animals? They could, at the same time, remove any dog faeces - if there are any!Bill - DCL

Bill DCL over 7 years ago

The Sports Council seeking to ban domestic dogs from BMCC ovals, on the grounds of Health Risk To Players, can be likened to the Wollongong Harbour Authority seeking to ban aluminum runabouts from the harbour, on grounds of Pollution Risk To Sailors.Domestic dogs are not known to produce unacceptable health hazard to humans when living in intimate family relationships; sharing the house and garden with the young children and folk with depleted immune system. Dog's urine is usual sterile when it first leaves the body..On the other hand, sporting ovals present major health hazard from wild bird droppings, duck faeces, and micro-organisms in the soil, plus fungi spores. The Sports Council should look to get its act together and its priorities in sensible order.As a "duty of care" BMCC should ban contact sport from ovals due to known physical injuries and the fact that pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and fungi are likely to be present on the oval surface. Cuts and scrapes are what allow them to enter the body and cause infection. Eyes and mouth can be points of entry. Breathing dust from the oval surface and bird droppings can infect the respiratory system, and can lead to chronic bronchitis/pneumonia like symptoms.I thought the Sports Council was a community organisation? How come they are so anti-social?Have they democratically surveyed their members to seek consensus opinion? I do not believe it! I cannot believe that parents and adult sport participants would be that selfish in the mountains.Dalmatian, DCL - a health worker.

Dalmatian - DCL over 7 years ago

Why should thousands of residents be denied access to beautiful areas and these become the exclusive use of certain groups? I will gladly swap Bulls Camp and Winmalee off leash areas. Give dog owners quality safe areas before you start talking about exclusion. The Winmlaee area has a drain running through it. It is a mud and dirt pit with overhanging trees / bushes/ weeds making it a tick paradise.Bulls Camp has no fences but hey its ok to off leash your dogs here as its next to the Great Western Hwy.I want to have equal access to sports and recreation areas. Another comment -how about sports groups exhibit the same passion for dog exclusion to cleaningup litter after use? Mant times I have used sports areas after groups and the amount of rubbish left behind is shameful -left to blow into the bush.

Ratepayer Too over 7 years ago

Dog playing & socializing areas are diminishing over Katoomba area. However,dog owner responsibility requires regular walks,running etc. There needs to be close access to all areas so that people don't need to drive to an area but can walk from home. Owning a dog is an important thing for our health & well being.It makes for happy interacting people.Dogs always open conversation,usually in a good way.'Man's best friend.'

occshan over 7 years ago

How does a minority within a council, impose a highly unpopular ban on thousands of people while keeping their own political backsides covered?. Easy!: First you wait until a comfortable time after the council election, so no annoying little details like democracy can get in your way. Then you announce what you want & immediately order a steering committee & workshop appointed from the public to determine the question. Of course they will have to consist of 50pc of people who agree with your small minority view, otherwise how could they ever resolve the issue?. Hey Presto!;you've immediately gone from having almost no public support at all to a 50 pc presence on a decision making body.. What's more, when you're criticised for overriding the interests of the majority you can say; " but we're holding a workshop & a committee to resolve this!. How could we be fairer!.". Problem solved.

whistleblower over 7 years ago

Who exactly is behind this push to ban dogs from sports grounds? It certainly isn't the popular public opinion, as is evidenced by this survey and 'word on the street'. I can't identify one single person that supports this, besides the council member in charge. Is there just one dog-hating individual behind this bizarre push? Can they identify one single person that has become ill due to treading on dog faeces with their soccer boots? Exactly how many people have been viciously attacked by dogs at these grounds in the last 10 years? This is a highly dubious application of council resources. It would be a massively unpopular, unnecessary move affecting a huge number of your constituents. At least as many people own dogs as participate in local sports grounds - probably far more. We are rate payers too you know! Sports grounds will never be pristine, whether or not you ban one species of animal from them. The species that do the most damage are the players themselves, with their studs and post-match litter. I play soccer AND I have dogs. It would be a sad day if they couldn't accompany my family to watch me play. This move is really shameful and disappointing. Please step aside mean-spirited councillors and stop destroying the simple pleasures of the long suffering mountain population!

MRoberts over 7 years ago

I noticed a reason for this ban is because people playing contact sport will have exposure to the grounds that may be soiled by dogs. Is there any research or study findings that support that dog waste matter is causing illness or infection in people playing sports.If that is the case, dogs cannot be solely responsible for that. What of the myriad of other animals native and introduced that use sport fields as a toilet? This is the Blue Mountains after all. Have many birds, possums, lizards/snakes and even cats let loose walk all over these sports fields?

Michael B over 7 years ago

woodydondon. I walk my dog every day thru the blackheath oval I pick up after my dog, the training club that use the oval also do the same as do the majority of the dog owners. Some time ago a sporting club had a recuiting function at the oval , they cable-tied plastic webbing to the tube fencing and when they had finished they took down the webbing and left the cable-ties, the cable-ties are still there! they also left drink cartons,cans,food wrappers and general rubbish.This one sporting club has left more rubbish on the oval than I have ever seen in all the years of dog walking in blackheath. Will we now see that sporting clubs will now have the same regulation imposed on them to pick up their rubbish.Also, has the council costed how much the full time policing of every sporting oval in the Blue Mountains.

woodydondon over 7 years ago

This is in every way a form of discrimination against all members of the Blue Mountains community especially those who have companion animals whom they depend on for everyday activities. Are these members of the community to be banned from watching their children or grandchildren play sport? and why? because some irresponsible pet owners do not do the right thing! but guess what this ban will not stop irresponisble people from being irresponsible!!! Anyway just how big is this problem? My family and I have played sport in this area for 20 years and never had a problem with dog excrement on the pitch. Where is the survey data showing that this is a major problem? Come on BMCC time to rethink this one!

Elaine over 7 years ago

I take a deep breath of beautiful mountains air....I love living here - I do not want to be micro-managed by council or anyone...I am an adult...I am responsible and I believe that children learn to internalise responsibility by having it modelled by adults. Signs, exclusion places and hostility towards dogs and owners does not foster the community responsibility to all children. They also don't get to meet/greet friendly dogs.Wider educative material (inserts with rates notices) and positive dog owner messages in the Gazette, posters and campaigns via vets, pet shops, online, etc. may increase the feeling of community ownership of our open spaces - not just for dog owner/dog faeces/behaviour management but also for rubbish, glass bottles and trade waste dumping! Perhaps a poetry competition with prizes by local business or council addressing these issues, perhaps the occasional sausage sizzle!!!! Anything but marginalising or restricting people in an already over-controlled, micro-managed, anxiety-ridden society. Best wishes to you all and to your angel canines. If we end up with places from which I am excluded (except the mens toilets, which I recognise as an appropriate exclusion zone), then I would like a reduction in my rates as I guess I don't need such services as landscaping, mowing, etc.)

lovethemountains over 7 years ago

I live close to Leura Oval. There is no problem about the off-leash area at this location.

muz over 7 years ago

I would also like to add that I have just read the first 40 or 50 comments and each one has been strongly "pro dog". This is as unanimous as it gets - it is the voice of the community and sends an overwhelming message - do not place more restrictions on dogs!!!! Do not tell us in 6 months time when you slyly sneak in restrictions under the table, that you didn't hear any protests from the community on this issue - our voice is obviously VERY clear.

IAmChristopherB over 7 years ago

I walked my dog at Gloria Park today for about 45 mins, and saw not one other human the entire time I was there. As usual, my dog was on a leash and I carried waste bags with me "just in case". It was a perfect day and we had a very relaxing time. Is the council seriously considering depriving me of this simple pleasure? Are they really considering having these parks deserted for the majority of the week? It makes me really sad to imagine it, and I frankly think I'd rather move than live with such restrictions. And what of all of the dog-loving families that line the sporting matches and bring such a community flavour to those events? Whenever I go to the park while there is a match on, the field is literally lined with families and their dogs, who no doubt belong to match participants. This is such an unnecessary backward step for our community, no doubt championed by one or two 'powerful' sporting bodies with heavily lined pockets. Cut it out. The parks are for everyone!!!

IAmChristopherB over 7 years ago

Billif council reads the comments on this forum they should get the message loudand clear, I have been verbally threatened by a council worker for training mydog on an oval. saying they would ring the ranger if i didn't get my dog offthe grounds. have a look at some other countries ie britain and the continentto see just how restrictive and backward Australia is regarding dog ownership

dogbreath over 7 years ago

Dear BMCCI’m happy to share my park with those men with bats and balls – especially as they’re kind enough to leave balls in the creek for me to fetch. They also sometimes leave sandwiches in the park, which I especially enjoy. Sadly, they only turn up a few days a year – I go there almost every day. Rruff!

tilly over 7 years ago

Dear BMCCI’m happy to share my park with those men with bats and balls – especially as they’re kind enough to leave balls in the creek for me to fetch. They also sometimes leave sandwiches in the park, which I especially enjoy. Sadly, they only turn up a few days a year – I go there almost every day. Rruff!

tilly over 7 years ago

Dogs and Humans have lived in harmony for centuries. I see people with their dogs having a great time socialising and play at this oval, it’s got to be important to keep it going. Why is it such a problem for the council to do the right thing, by allowing everyone to enjoy the oval not just a selective few sport people? After all these grounds are used more by dogs and their owners than sports. It also could be argued that dog activities with their owners is sport... We as dog owners have just as much rights to use the oval as any sports person! This oval is a great success for an off leash area what is the problem!! Maybe sometimes dog litter can be missed, but I see litter of all kinds tossed by careless people everywhere! Live and let live! Don't take away a place for our dogs to run and play!!

Suki over 7 years ago

Could the Council please attend to matters they are supposed to instead of picking dogs and their owners. I have never used the sports oval to walk my dog on but I was annoyed when I saw the notice on the fence. Give us a break!megblackheath

megblackheath over 7 years ago

What is the problem that this process is meant to be solving? Especially as we can be pretty sure any changed rules will not actually be enforced - in twenty years of walking dogs in the mountains I would see one or more off lead dogs nearly every time, and have seen action to enforce the companion animals regulations on exactly two occasions. I have never seen anyone penalised for littering, vandalism or other forms of public nuisance either. Dog owners and sportspeople are over-lapping groups which co-exist just fine in my experience. If it works, don't fix it! And don't waste my rates on a ridiculous consultative process. Spend it on park maintenance, to the benefit of all - dog owners, footballers, kids with kites, everyone.

DavidBlkhth over 7 years ago