New dog laws on the table for Douglas Shire

DOUGLAS SHIRE

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Nine off-leash dog zones are being investigated across the Douglas Shire. IMAGE: Newsport.
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PET owners in the region could soon have dog parks to let their pooches roam free in.

Douglas Shire Council is considering nine off-leash dog areas across the shire under the most robust and relevant laws to be considered in the region’s history.

The fresh suite of off-leash dog areas, including an extension to the zone on Four Mile Beach, has been unveiled in proposed new Local Laws to be released for community consultation in Douglas Shire.

Council endorsed the draft laws for community engagement and State Interest Checks at yesterday’s Ordinary Council Meeting in Mossman. 

Mayor Julia Leu said the proposed local laws were revitalised, contemporary and designed to work for the community.

“This is a comprehensive tailoring of local laws to suit our residents. Local laws impact everyone at a grassroots level and it is absolutely critical we get input from the wider community.

“Council is proposing a vast array of areas for our pooches to run around and enjoy our unrivalled natural environment.

“We are also proposing to tighten up various facets of the laws to bring them in with community expectations and improve well-being in our region,” said Leu.

Mandatory de-sexing of cats and dogs, provisions for keeping miniature horses and goats and greater enforcement powers around recycling are some other key changes proposed in the draft local laws. Council has drawn up new off-leash zones in Mossman, Port Douglas, Cooya Beach, Newell Beach, Wonga Beach and north of the Daintree River.

The draft laws propose an extension to the off-leash area on Four Mile Beach to Cowrie St. There are 1840 registered dogs in Douglas Shire. It comes as Council prepares to conduct a community engagement-driven Dog Park trial at Hutchins Park on Oriole St in Port Gardens.

This will involve speaking with the 236 residents in Port Gardens. Council has not decided on the exact location, but has identified two potential areas. 

“These proposed off-leash areas, as well as new drafted local laws, are certainly not set in stone and it is up to the public to guide Council on the final document,” she said.

“These local laws are written to ensure Douglas Shire is the most sustainable, safe and harmonious region it can be for locals and visitors.”

The consultation period will begin on August 29. Residents are encouraged to make a submission to Council during this time. See below.

The proposed off-leash areas:

• Hutchins Park, Oriole Street, Port Douglas

• Southern end of Four Mile Beach, start at Cowrie St entrance.

• Back of Lou Prince Park, Cooya Beach

• Northern end of Cooya Beach (north of the public toilet block).

• Northern end of Newell Beach (including the foreshore area to the end of Marine Parade, north of Phillip Street)

• Diwan Reserve, (behind Douglas Shire Council Depot)

• North Wonga Beach (starting at Giblin St to Vixies Rd)

• Cow Bay beach (south of Buchanan Creek Rd car park area)

• Foxton Avenue, Mossman (Northern section of George Davis Park, north of the fitness equipment to the edge of the proposed Botanic Gardens)
Key changes in draft local laws:

• Mandatory de-sexing of cats and dogs which if approved, would come into effect six months after the new Local Laws are gazetted.

• Breeders of cats and/or dogs would require Council approval ♣ The area of land required to keep miniature horses and goats has been reduced

• Additional dog off-leash areas have been nominated in the shire

• Portable and temporary signage has been moved out of the Planning Scheme and into Local Laws ♣ The new laws will make it an offence to place non-recyclable materials in a recycling bin

• Dangerous vegetation has been identified as a potential safety hazard

• It will be an offence to leave unregistered vehicles on Council land or to have vehicles for sale parked on Council land and this includes Council roads.

Submissions must be lodged by close of business Friday 30 September.

 

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