Responsible dog and cat ownership has received a community-endorsed boost following Cockburn Council’s adoption of an Animal Management and Exercise Plan (AMEP) 2020-2025.
The plan incorporates more than 500 submissions, with community and stakeholder feedback received during consultation on the draft plan during August helping achieve safe spaces for pets, people and local wildlife in Cockburn.
The plan will enable about 40 per cent of Cockburn’s coast to be accessible to dogs, and provide more off-leash dog exercise areas at large public open spaces.
It will also help create a new local cat law in 2021 prohibiting them from conservation and bushland areas and by 2025, confine cats to their owners’ property for their protection and that of local fauna.
City of Cockburn Rangers & Community Safety Manager Michael Emery said despite some changes to beach access for dogs, many more reserves would become off-leash areas and two new dog parks were proposed in the City’s western and central wards.
Mr Emery said proposed cat laws would not only protect vulnerable fauna, they would greatly reduce the trauma of cat injury and fatality caused by roaming risks such as vehicle accidents, and fights with other cats and dogs.
In a key change to the draft AMEP, dogs will now be prohibited at Woodman Point between Ammo Jetty and south around the point to Jervoise Bay dog beach, prompted by significant objection from the community, stakeholders and adverse findings from an independent environmental impact assessment.
This will protect the vulnerable Australian Fairy Tern population and other shorebirds, including migratory species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
A proposal for this beach to change from on-leash to off-leash was rejected by a significant proportion of community survey participants and the Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Woodman Point Regional Park Community Advisory Committee, Birdlife Australia, the Conservation Council of WA and Native ARC.
Making this beach off-leash could generate significant impact to threatened bird species, triggering the approval of the Federal Minister for Environment.
For the first time, several large public opens spaces will be phased in as off-leash areas, when not in use by recognised sporting groups or by schools.
Phase one reserves:
- Allendale Park
- Aubin Grove Reserve
- Beeliar Reserve
- Colorado Park
- Goodchild Reserve
- Santich Park
Phase two reserves:
- Enright Reserve
- Len Packham Reserve
- Success Reserve
Two dog parks are also proposed for construction at Radonich Park (Beeliar) and Macfaull Park (Spearwood).
The plan is estimated to cost about $550,000 over five years, with $135,000 under budgetary consideration for the implementation of phase 1 during 2020-21.
Read the Animal Management and Exercise Plan 2020-2025 on the City of Cockburn website