Dog off-leash parks needed in the CBD 

By Sunny Liu

CBD’s dog owners are still waiting for a dog off-leash area for their four-legged friends while Flagstaff Gardens remain an on-leash only park.

There are currently no off-leash dog parks in the CBD area and the closest free-roaming park is the Clayton Reserve in North Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne (CoM) is trialling a dog off-leash space at Docklands’ Ron Barassi Snr Park.

CBD residents have long been calling for an off-leash park for their beloved dogs. Flagstaff Gardens is one of the most popular meet-up spaces for dog owners in the CBD and is regarded by many as a suitable place to be a dog off-leash area.

But the council’s response to dog owners is that Flagstaff Gardens is on-leash only, “a designation consistent with the heritage status of the garden”.

Regular checks are carried out at Flagstaff Gardens and dog owners who let their dogs off the lead could be fined.

The council says it is aware of the increase in residents who live in or near the city and the heighted interest in facilities such as dog off-leash areas.

The CoM says it is looking to fill some of the gaps in the distribution of local access off-leash areas and a new off-leash area will be constructed in West Melbourne, making it the nearest off-leash park to the CBD.

Docklands residents can now enjoy the privilege of letting their dogs roam free at the spacious Ron Barassi Park, while the CoM is considering further construction of more dog friendly areas in the west end of the CBD.

Ron Barassi Snr Park is located on the western end of Docklands Drive.

Creating a new off-leash area takes time because community consultation and feedback is needed to establish a plan.  A formal declaration through a municipal order is required before an area can be used.

The council is also reviewing other locations for a potential off-leash park within the municipality.  CBD residents can express their ideas and concerns on participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au.

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