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.

Dogs and dog owners can responsibly share sports grounds in the mountains just like we have been doing for decades. One pooh or one incident with a naughty dog running onto the pitch shouldn't spoil it for the rest of us.

Lang about 7 years ago

Why is Council so vague, what is the problem?What are Council's suggested solutions?Can they fence 33% of all ovals for 24/7 Informal Recreation and use by registered dog clubs?Is it reasonable that 24 cricketers and 2 umpires can have exclusive use of valuable public asset say 4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday and thereby exclude dog walking for 24 hours of each of the 7 days of the week? {I say cricketers - summer months - I am not sure with rugby; maybe 29 + linesmen and goal spotters}. That would be an insufferable abuse of public assets. If that is what the Sports Council wants - sell them the ovals at market value and charge them rates based on VG valuation.The report to Council indicates that the problem is that the Sports Council considers Dog Faeces to be a health hazard and generally unpleasant.General Unpleasantness: Pitt Park Little Athletics Field quite often has duck faeces at 600mm spacing on every part of the mowed area. Other ovals ditto. Melrose park is very poorly drained and often swampy. Ditto other ovals. I am very familiar with Pitt Park - Little Athletics Field, a time limited dog off lead area. Including the expansive area around the oval: I am prepared to testify that there would not be more than 15 visible dog faeces on the ground at any given time, and not more than half a dozen on the formal playing surface. The Sports Council could spend 15 minutes clearing dog faeces prior to sport activity. I am prepared to provide rubber gloves, bags, and buckets of sand if they are so stress for volunteers. It is not "what can Council do for you; but what can you do to help the community!"Health Hazard: normal healthy oval soils contains micro organisms, fungi spores, and residue from Council sprayed chemicals, plus natural silicon and other carcinogenic residue from atmospheric pollutants and vehicle exhausts. When handling a shovel full of this soil, if dry and powdery, health authorities recommend use of breathing mask, eye protection and gloves. Wild duck faeces contain who knows what? Domestic dog faeces normally result from a balanced dog biscuit diet with human food scraps and meat fit for human consumption. Yes, dogs could carry worms that could be transferred to humans - normal human hygiene would normally obviate this problem. If the Sports Council requires risk free playing surface, then "they" should provide an artificial ground cover that can be vacuumed and sterilised prior to contact sport.Bill Higgins Dog Club Leura Inc.

Bill DCL about 7 years ago

Have read all the comments concerning this issue and agree with everyone.Why does Council persist in displaying total ignorance and lack of consideration in this matter? Too much attention seems to be directed towards sports and tourism whilst others who LIVE here pay for the upkeep of these precious areas.I was pleased to read that others have noticed how Sydney offers a generous selection of dog areas in spite of very little land available.I have lived here for 32 years and watched how this council has been unable to address a simple issue,regardless of who is voted in and I have been told "by a reliable source"that this issue has many times been put in the "too hard to do basket"The elderly and people without transport cannot be expected to drive to the very few venues allotted for dog walking.(We don't all live in Lawson)The sporting ovals in question are mostly unused,especially in winter and during the week in summer,so what is all the fuss about.?OK let the sports mad have their day,but allow the dogs/owners to have a go the rest of the time. I would also like to comment that it costs to send a team to pick up food scraps and litter after a match,whereas more dog owners in comparison,pick up after themselves and their dogs.I have also witnessed cricketers urinating against the wall of their shed in full view of the passing public,so if that isn't the "pot calling the kettle black"?

Sam about 7 years ago

Surely we can all use the facilities available without more rules and restrictions. The Animal Companions Act is quite specific and reminders through signage, appropriate provision of bins and peer example are more appropriate measures. Compared with other Council areas, BMCC provisions for off-leash areas are extremely modest, and in some villages, paltry. Dog walkers are certainly not a drain on community resources, pay rates and keep themselves and dogs healthy and well socialised.

bbbl about 7 years ago

This is a ridiculous idea and deserves no more of council's time spent on it!!

jbo about 7 years ago

we need more areas for our animals not less, being surrounded by national parks the only places we can exercise our pets are sporting fields or the far to few dog off leash areas, which we need many more of ..dont blame the animals for some irresponsible owners .if all dog owners acted reponsibly [ which most do } and picked up we wouldnt need this discussion so please for the sake of all take a bag and pick up

blackheathdogowner about 7 years ago

I really cannot believe that the Council is considering this ban on dogs at sports grounds. These places are used by elderly people to walk their dogs, by women like me who run and walk with their dogs, by kids with dogs, by families with dogs. It is one of the few places where you can go with your dog away from traffic and noise and feel grass under foot. Why are sports people's needs and rights being placed above everyone else's? As a responsible dog owner I always clean up after my dog, keep it under control and always vacate the oval for organised sports events or training, as I understand that the oval is their space for that time. But that is usually once or twice a week at Blackheath oval - what about the rest of the week? We are all being encouraged to do more exercise and a dog is a great way to do this - why make it so hard? And why do we need regulation on something which is just about courtesy, consideration, responsibility and common sense? I am with the guy who said that if they try to impose this ban they will have a fight on their hands. They will with me too! This Council is already cutting in half our Hat Hill road offleash area, which for older people and women, is frankly too rugged, too remote and unsafe at the moment anyway, with all the rubbish being dumped there. And now the ovals? No way.

Blackheathdoglover about 7 years ago

This proposal was timed to be submitted to Council now, comfortably after last years BMC Council election.It smells to me of having less to do with Blue Mountains sporting facilities than it has, a muscle flexing, chest thumping exercise by a small minority of people who are far less represetative of Blue Mountain's sports participants than they would have us believe?.If Council is silly enough to implement this discriminatory, grossly unfair ban, all decent responsible ratepayers will be obliged to ignore it.

whistleblower about 7 years ago

My dog is trained, on a lead, and always under my control when in public. My observation from many years of attending the sports grounds for cricket and football is few people bring their dog and those that do have them appropriately controlled. When the grounds are not in use, they are a valuable resource for on lead exercise - for dog and owner. At any given time there are very few dogs at the grounds and the vast majority of dog owners who user the grounds are not a problem, so don't penalise them or their dogs because of a small minority who are less responsible.

ianb about 7 years ago

I've paid rates in the blue mountains for 34 years. I love sport but due to back trouble my main exercise these days is walking my " Dizzi" around Pitt park & sometimes leura oval. i always carry plastic bags & respect all other users.I will continue to do this & any bureaucrat who tries to stop me is in for a fight. Thoroughly disgusted with this attempt to ban decent people who pay their rates, from public spaces.

Sergeant baker about 7 years ago

If Dogs were restricted on sports fields the Council would be obliged to provide alternative areas to compensate Dog owners.

mumbles about 7 years ago

Banning dogs would affect all the lovely side line pooches who come to be part of the cheer squad for their family members playing soccer or cricket. Well behaved and very welcome all the ones I have seen have been. I also have never seen any problem with people not clearing up after their dogs on sports fields throughout the mountains. Why would you ban these four legged sports fans?

Orangewendy about 7 years ago

Most sports areas are deserted 99pc of the time. To attempt to restrict public spaces even further to other ratepayers is gross arrogance. Beware bmc councillors who intend to support this disgusting proposal, dog owners have long memories where their beloved dogs are concerned & NO ONE networks like dog lovers.

al the pal about 7 years ago

As long as dogs are on a leash during match times, I don't see what the problem is. There must be some very vocal anti-dog crusaders bombarding the council. I hope the council understands those people are a minority. I would think there would be a huge backlash if the council listened to those mean-spirited few.

Ellen about 7 years ago

As a new member of the Blue Mountains Community, I am shocked that the Council would consider banning dogs from sports ovals. As ratepayers, dog owners are surely entitled to use public spaces as well as the rest of the population. As a regular user of the Leura Oval - I have only ever witnessed responsible behaviour from the owners - I invite all those who support the banning to actually pay a visit when the dogs are there. Having recently moved from Sydney, where Councils recognise the need to accommodate dogs - I can't believe that BMCC is so regressive.

Maud about 7 years ago

Dog excercise areas are important. They provide a community for like minded people to interact and socialise. It's not just about the dogs it's about their owners too! Our group in Leura is a very responsible group of people who monitor the behaviour of our dogs and their droppings! Some of us even pick up the odd missed droppings of other dogs! Another couple of points here.1. I'm sure that the weekend sports players have a dog or two yes?2. Some Leura residents may believe that the oval is their "backyard" 3. It isn't!So...we're all in this together. And a spirit of co-operation can only serve to benefit everyone...(and their dogs!)

Walkies time! about 7 years ago

Who ever came up with this bright idea is very misguided. Impose restrictions like this at your peril - you will become a laughing stock on the news and talk back radio. It's is an Australian family past time to take your dog on a family outing to the local sports oval. How dare anyone try to limit this fundamental part of our lifestyle. How exactly will banning people walking their dogs in these areas solve any problems at all? Responsible dog owners are not the problem - it would be exceedingly unfair to punish them . Stray dogs will sometimes run on the grounds whether or not you introduce restrictions. How are they to know that you've instigated a ban? Will they approach the oval and then think to themselves "I'd better not run on that grass". Stupid is as stupid does.

Concerned North Korean about 7 years ago

Give us a break. Most dog owners 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. After ll, if we follow that principle, we would expel all children from schools because of 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?

Jennie about 7 years ago

Many areas is Sydney have shared dog and sports field zones eg Beauchamps oval in Chatswood. When there is a scheduled match the dogs aren't allowed on the field but at all other times, dogs, cricketers and footy players, kids, joggers etc seem to coexist very well.Many spectators at sporting events own a dog. To prevent the family dog from an outing with parents and kids seems an unnecessary over reaction. Dogs and people are a natural part of any community and it has been proven that kids who grow up with dogs have fewer allergies than those who don't.There need to be more off leash areas in the mountains, not more prohibited areas. There are far too few off leash areas already. And what about ovals like that adjoining the old Lawson golf course. It is used for very few sporting events over the year and currently has dog training on it. Would the dog training be stopped? Or Leura oval which hosts a few very young kids cricket matches. Is that going to be taken away from dog users? Dog owners must be responsible about dog poo but to forbid dogs on sporting fields would be a very foolish and unpopular move by Council.

Libby about 7 years ago

As a responsible dog owner I endeavour to do the right thing and pick up the dog poo and keep my dog under control. Unfortunately a minority may not do the same, this does not mean we all have to be punished for the actions of a few. Parents who endeavour to teach their children manners are not punished because a few parents do not hold the same values. The council need to offer better facilities for dog owners I think this would solve the problem and everyone would be happy because responsible dog owners would use the facilities provided if there were any ( I mean safe fenced areas away from major roads and not just 1 but at least 4 or 5 areas spread over the mountains for all to use). People that are not responsible will abuse even when rules are put in place so why punish everyone for a few. Sydney councils provide excellent areas both fenced and unfenced at parks and beaches why can't our council offer the same facilities. In Queensland around Brisbane every township has sporting ovals, swimming pool, beach volley ball and attached to these areas they have fenced dog areas often one for small dogs and a separate one for large dogs. As the population grows so does dog ownership it is only sensible to put areas aside now and encourage families being outside exercising and spending time together with their family dog, we have the right to be active in this manner as anyone playing sport on a field.

Jenny Mc about 7 years ago