Submissions invited on new dog policy

Published on 14 February 2020

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Late last year, State Parliament passed the Dog Control Amendment Bill 2019.

In addition to protections for sensitive wildlife, the Bill includes important amendments relating to greyhounds, enabling councils to lawfully provide off-leash exercise areas for greyhounds where appropriate and to extend the circumstances in which greyhounds are considered under effective control.

In response, the City of Launceston has revised and updated its Dog Management Policy.

As part of that revision, the Council is inviting the public to make submissions in respect of the intended changes.

At the Council's ordinary meeting on February 6, 2020, Councillors unanimously supported three recommendations.

Those recommendations are:

     That Council:

  1. forms the view that the following areas should be restricted areas for the purpose of the Dog Control Act 2000 (Tas):
    - Riverbend Park is a restricted area where dogs, other than guide dogs or hearing dogs, are restricted from entering at all times.
    - part of the Heritage Forest off-leash area is a restricted area, a condition of use of which is that greyhounds are the only dogs permitted in the area.
    - part of the Heritage Forest off-leash area is a restricted area, a condition of use of which is that vulnerable dogs are the only dogs permitted in the area.
  2. requests the Chief Executive Officer to exercise Council's powers under sections 7 and 24 of the Dog Control Act 2000 (Tas), to allow consultation with relevant bodies and organisations and to arrange for public notice of and the opportunity for the public to make submissions on the intended declaration and consequent necessary amendments to the Council's Dog Management Policy.
  3. notes that following consultation with relevant bodies and organisations and consideration of any submissions from the public in respect of the intended changes, a further item will come back to Council for determination. 

To view the relevant Agenda item, click here(DOCX, 4MB)

To view the City of Launceston's draft Dog Management Policy, click here(PDF, 9MB) .

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BACKGROUND

The proposed changes to the City of Launceston's Dog Management Policy strike a balance between dog owners' and non-dog owners' use of the Council-owned facilities.

Under Section 28 (Prohibited Public Areas) of the State Government's Dog Control Act 2000 (Tas) it prohibits dogs from within 10m of a children's playground.

Also, Riverbend Park is a facility that is a very busy park and is unsuitable for dogs other than guide or hearing dogs. Restricting dogs from entering the park will provide the greatest utility to members of the public.

The proposed greyhound off-leash area is to be created in response to recent changes to the Dog Control Act 2000 (Tas)  which allow owners of greyhounds greater freedom in exercising their dogs in public. It will occur within the already designated off-leash area of Heritage Forest.

The vulnerable dog area will provide facilities for owners who consider their dogs to be vulnerable to exercise in public with less exposure to larger or stronger dogs that may pose a risk. This may apply to dogs that are small, geriatric or experiencing or recovering from an injury or illness.

Section 24 of the Dog Control Act 2000 (Tas) requires that the public are invited to make submissions in relation to the proposed restricted areas. Any declaration made in respect of restricted areas must be incorporated into the Council's Dog Management Policy. The Council is required to consult with appropriate bodies and organisations before making amendments to its Policy.

Following consultation with relevant bodies and submissions from the public, a further item will come back to Council for determination.

 

Anyone wishing to make a submission to the City of Launceston's Dog Management Policy can do so by emailing:
    
contactus@launceston.tas.gov.au, marked Attention: Team Leader Regulations

Written submissions can be sent to:
    
City of Launceston,
    
PO Box 396,
    
Launceston, TAS 7250
    
Attention: Dog Management Policy Amendment

 Closing date for submissions is close-of-business Monday, March 2, 2020.