Let’s talk about dogs at Western Reserve

Published on 01 September 2023

Bright yellow background with small dog holding a lead in its mouth.

Mount Alexander Shire Council is asking residents whether or not dogs should be allowed on-lead at Western Reserve in Castlemaine.

In February 2022, Councillors voted to ban dogs from the playing surfaces of selected ovals in the shire following the adoption of the Order of Council. 

Since then, members of the community have advocated for Council to revoke the ban at Western Reserve specifically.

Council’s Mayor, Rosie Annear moved a Notice of Motion at the August Council meeting proposing Council ask the community what they think about the current prohibition of dogs at Western Reserve.

The motion was supported unanimously by Councillors, with a recommendation for Council to undertake community consultation on the impacts of the current ban.

“We’ve heard consistently from many members of the community that the current dog ban at Western Reserve isn’t working for them”, said Mayor Annear.

“Unlike other sporting ovals in the shire, Western Reserve doesn’t have a defined playing surface.”

 “The site is used seasonally for cricket, but it also plays host to a range of family-friendly events throughout the year, such as the monthly markets.

“For these reasons, it could be argued the reserve is more of a shared community space then just for sporting activities.”

“We’d like to know what user groups, event holders and community members think, so we can be sure we’re making the right decisions for our community”, said Mayor Annear.

Have your say

Community members are encouraged to provide input on whether or not dogs should be allowed on-lead at Western Reserve in one of the following ways:

Submissions close on Monday 2 October.

Input provided during the community consultation will be collated into a report, and presented to Councillors for review and consideration at the November Council meeting.

If Councillors vote to revoke the ban on dogs at Western Reserve, the change will become operational after it is published in the Victoria Government Gazette.

“I’d encourage anyone who’s passionate about this issue to get online and complete a quick survey about this”.

“Council officers will also be on-site at the next two Castlemaine Farmers Markets at the reserve, talking to stall holders and visitors about the current ban.”

For more information, contact Ron Medler, Coordinator Local Laws, on 5471 1700 or info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au


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