Council fetches opinions on dog park upgrade

The “deteriorating state” of the dog park at Hastings Cunnigham Reserve has prompted a City Council elected member to push for users to have their say on how to improve the facility.

At a recent meeting Councillor Frank Morello moved a notice of motion that council seek the views of dog park users on how the facilities should be managed and maintained.

In his address to council, Cr Morello said some frequent users have stopped visiting the park in favour of more suitable areas.

“Over the years the park has grown to become an important destination for social interaction for dogs and their owners,” Cr Morello said.

While installation of solar lights and extra shading were improvements he welcomed, Cr Morello also listed a number of concerning issues.

“The lack of defined paths, proliferation of weeds resulting in burrs on the underbelly of small dogs, thin bark coverage on the ground, loose dirt and a bee-infested tree in the small enclosure are among the issues raised,” he said.

“As a popular community asset, the much-loved site should be maintained to the highest possible standard.

“It may be an opportune time for council to engage park users and gain their perspectives on how to improve the facility.”

Cr Morello recommended feedback be incorporated into council’s annual maintenance program.

City Infrastructure general manager Barbara Cernovskis said council officers were currently researching best practice options for dog parks before commencing engagement.

Ms Cernovskis said this was to ensure council can meet expectations within its current resourcing.

“(And) any outcomes and community aspirations can complement the future development of further plans for the overall Hastings Cunningham Reserve site, in line with the Sport, Recreation and Open Space Strategy,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Cernovskis said due to the high usage of the park, the maintenance schedule could be difficult to maintain while still enabling ongoing access for users.

“This is something that council plans to address following consultation with users,” she said.

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