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Latest Kiboko News

City goes to the dogs: Push for off-leash areas in Sydney CBD

Mar 4, 2023

There are now 32,000 registered or microchipped dogs in the City of Sydney – but this figure does not take into account those that have died, moved or been sold. Fifty parks and reserves in the City of Sydney council area allow pets to be off-leash, including Observatory Park in Millers Point, Wentworth Park in Glebe, Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills, and Rushcutters Bay Park. City of Sydney Liberal councillor Lyndon Gannon with Mali Whittingham-Vignes and her Great Dane Kiboko in Hyde Park. Credit:Rhett Wyman But Gannon said the nearest off-leash dog area near the CBD was Cook + Phillip Park: “But it isn’t used as much as The Domain, for instance, which is a great area for dogs to run around because it has uninterrupted views.” Advertisement Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she would like to see dogs in every park, “but the reality is that’s not possible”. “Whenever we look at new off-leash areas we need to balance the needs of the entire community,” she said. Loading Moore shot down the suggestion of Hyde Park, saying it was Australia’s oldest park and its 16 hectares of green space included important sites of national significance and space for reflection. The closest off-leash dog area for Mali Whittingham-Vignes, who lives in Woolloomooloo, to walk Kiboko, her 10-month-old Great Dane, is Rushcutters Bay park. She said it was important for dog owners to have easily accessible dog parks close to home and work. “I think both Hyde Park and the Domain are such beautiful locations,” she said. “It would be a lovely place for me and other dog owners to meet and enjoy watching dogs run around.” Plans to allow dogs in beaches and parks have divided residents in the northern beaches , inner west , eastern suburbs and the NSW south coast . There have also been calls for off-leash areas just for small dogs , as the city’s rising canine population leads to conflict between pets and their owners. Gannon said the southern section of Hyde Park near the Anzac Memorial, and the hill next to the Domain sports fields were possible locations for dogs to roam off-leash. “Really as long as they’re not interrupting people playing sport, I think they should be able to run free,” he said. Loading Gannon said the off-leash dog areas could operate between 4:30pm and 9:30am to minimise conflict with other park users. “This would enable office workers to have their lunch without being interrupted by a begging dog.” State government regulations require dogs to be on a leash in the Domain to ensure safety in areas where there are cars, cyclists, children, sporting activities or other animals, a Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust spokeswoman said. “The fields and lawns in the Domain are also an important part of our living collection, and the regulations surrounding dogs in the Domain help us to protect our living collection as well as heritage items and wildlife.” Loading Gannon said the council already encouraged pets in shops and cafes, but suggested public transport should become pet friendly . “Now that pets can legally travel on aeroplanes, I really don’t see why you can’t take pets on public transport in Sydney,” he said. “I have lots of friends that spend a fortune on Uber Pets because of this inconvenience.” The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here . Save

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