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Off-lead park for dogs to become a reality

Councillors and their dogs at the new off-lead dog park site.

Council has announced the site of a new off-lead dog park in Castlemaine.

Thursday 9 July 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council is pleased to announce works will soon get underway to create a fully fenced off-leash dog park at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve in Castlemaine.

The dog park will be located at the northern corner of the reserve, adjacent to the lower / stadium carpark off McGrath Street.

The fully fenced dog park will provide residents with an enclosed area to exercise and socialise their dogs. The site has a number of shade trees and access to off street car parking and will include a drinking fountain, gated entry points, seating, local law and etiquette signage, a doggie bag dispenser and rubbish bin.

“We know our community has long wanted a safe, open and fully fenced space to exercise their dog off-lead,” said Cr Christine Henderson, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Councillors are extremely pleased to see this project come to fruition after many years of investigation to find a suitable site.

“The site at Wesley Hill has been selected because it is a pleasant area for dogs and people to socialise, has existing amenity and is easy to access by car and foot. We’re hoping the community will welcome the news,” she said.

Staff have consulted with the Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve Committee of Management and the Castlemaine War Memorial Stadium to gain support, and have been granted permission from the Department of Land Environment, Water and Planning for the project.

Works are expected to start in late July and it is anticipated the park will be open for use in September, subject to COVID-19 restrictions. As part of the works some of the existing trees will have lower branches removed and grass and shrub planting will occur.

Council identified the construction of an off-lead dog park as a priority in the 2017-2021 Council Plan, as well as its Domestic Animal Management Plan. A number of other sites were investigated for the dog park but disregarded due to technical, environmental, financial or community concerns.

Council approved $60,000 in the 2018/2019 budget for the development of the off-lead dog park, which has been carried forward. Council will explore other funding opportunities to make additional improvements to the Castlemaine dog park over time.

With the exception of a few designated areas, dogs can be exercised off-lead outside the central business district in Maldon and Castlemaine, when under effective control.

The current dog restrictions at Elsie Palmer Field and Doug Powell Oval at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve remain in place. Dogs must be on-lead near the netball courts.

Fast facts - Dog walking in Mount Alexander Shire

No dog zones
 Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve – Elsie Palmer Field
 Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve – Doug Powell Oval / Velodrome
 Victory Park Castlemaine
 Castlemaine Botanical Gardens Playground

 Campbells Creek Community Park
 Castlemaine Botanical Gardens
 Castlemaine CBD
 Maldon CBD
 Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve Netball Courts

Don’t forget
 Dogs may currently be walked off-lead on other Council managed/public land
 Dogs must be under effective control
 Clean up after your pet - dog bags are provided at most facilities

Image L-R: Cr Lesser, Cr Machin with Sunny, Mayor Henderson and Cr Petrusma with Bogart at the site of the new dog park.

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