South Hobart dog owners must save their reputation and local parks
South Hobart dog owners are advised to write to the Hobart City Council Dog Management Review and "call out" negative remarks.
The president of the South Hobart Football Club, Victoria Morton, has called for dogs to be banned at all sports grounds in South Hobart because the club "is sick of picking up dog poo left on ovals" and "female dogs are urinating at South Hobart Oval and Wellesley Park and destroying grass on both ovals". (Source: "Sport club seeks ban, alleging owners fail to clean up: Dog walk row gets messy", The Mercury 7 January 2019.)
Picking up after others
Many South Hobart dog owners pick up and remove their dogs' droppings from South Hobart Oval and Wellesley Park.
Dog walkers also pick up rubbish left by the soccer players, such as tape, drink bottles, food containers and medical waste. Some South Hobart dog owners are also long-term volunteers with the Wellesley Park Bushcare Program and have given years of free time caring for the park. South Hobart people care about the community and parks.
Wallaby droppings can be found at Wellesley Park as the park opens onto bushland. Wallabies graze in Wellesley Park, as do rabbits.
Soccer writer Walter Pless has also made "interesting" statements about South Hobart dog owners in his blog entitled "It's time the tail stopped wagging the dog", published 7 January 2019.
"I am told that the local dog walking group has threatened to picket South Hobart home games if dogs are banned from being walked on the pitch. If that is true, it smacks of arrogance and is a selfish threat. It also sounds very much like bullying," Mr Pless wrote.
We don't know where Mr Pless gets his information, or which local dog walking group he is referring to.
The Hobart Dog Walking Association Inc (HDWA) is unaware of any plans for dog owners to picket soccer matches.
Power and influence
Mr Pless suggested "Perhaps it’s time for South Hobart FC to harness the power and influence of its many sponsors and notable supporters, including politicians, members of the professions and business people, as well as the many parents whose kids belong to Morton’s Soccer School, and bring their reasonable views to the attention of the council."
What is concerning is Mr Pless went on to write this divisive comment: "Many of these people are probably dog owners, too, so they'll have to decide on which side of the fence they stand on this issue" and "It's time to bring in the heavy guns"
Community members shouldn't have to choose sides
Why should South Hobart soccer players who own a dog have to choose sides? Community is important in South Hobart and the residents value sharing public spaces and places. Dog owners don't mind sharing public parks with others, or the current time share arrangements.
Members of the South Hobart Football Club, who live locally exercise their dogs on South Hobart Oval and Wellesley Park because without these sports fields there are few options for dog exercise in South Hobart:
The off-lead area at the lower section of Wellesley Park is small and limited due to the play equipment and exclusion zone. It is also rabbit infested.
The off-lead section of the Hobart Rivulet Track is also very small area.
South Hobart is a large suburb (from Antill Street to Fern Tree) . The Cascades has no off-lead exercise areas, Fern Tree has no off-lead dog exercise areas and off-lead exercise areas are also limited in the neighbouring suburbs of Dynnyrne and West Hobart.
Hobart City Council is right to encourage sharing limited public spaces
The Hobart City Council is right to allow dogs to be exercised on sports fields when organised competitions are not being held. Without access to these sports fields for dog exercise, many suburbs would have nowhere for dog off-lead exercise.
The Hobart City Council's Dog Management Plan can be viewed on the Council's website in the "Your Say" section.
Submit your feedback by 4 February 2019 via:
· email to email@example.com
· by mail c/o The General Manager GPO Box 503 Hobart 7
· by visiting https://yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/
Walter Pless' blog may be read in full here.