What is the need for a Plan?

    The objectives of this draft plan are to:

    • Encourage responsible dog and cat ownership
    • Provide sufficient, safe spaces for pets, people and wildlife
    • Manage feral cats
    • Embrace digital technology initiatives in animal management

    Off-leashed dog areas have been enacted in reserves and along the coast over the years. Sometimes, changes have been years apart, causing confusion around where dogs can and cannot be.

    In addition to dog management, cats are becoming an increasing risk to native animals. Recent environmental studies show a strong need for better cat control within Western Australia.

    Additionally, domestic cats that wander the streets often face danger. Wandering cats can be hit by cars or get into fights with other animals. Cats that are allowed to wander have a lower life expectancy.

    The plan is only a draft and requires feedback from the community.

    What is the traffic light sign system?

    A three colour signage system (red, yellow and green) will be implemented at parks and reserves.

    The coloured signage will indicate whether dogs are permitted at a particular park or reserve and what the leash requirements are. 

    Red: Dog prohibited area

    Yellow: Dog on-leash area. Dogs allowed within the area but must be on leash. 

    Green: Dogs allowed off-leash. Dogs may be off-leash within the area, but effective control by the owner is still required. Dogs must be held by a leash when:

    • designated sporting fields are in use
    • City officers are using power tools or mowing or
    • at the direction of a City officer

    What improvements are proposed for existing dog exercise parks?

    The draft plan proposes improvements to existing enclosed dog exercise parks such as:

    • Fencing improvements
    • Shade
    • Provision of sensory plants
    • Agility equipment
    • Waste disposal
    • Drinking water stations
    • Solar powered sensor lights for dog owners using the parks after hours
    • CCTV cameras and analytics programs to monitor use

    Outdoor wash stations are proposed at existing dog parks and at C.Y. O'Connor Beach.

    Will there be more off-leash areas for dogs?

    The following reserves are proposed in the draft plan to be off-leash:

    • Beeliar Reserve, Beeliar
    • Aubin Grove reserve, Aubin Grove
    • Santich Park, Lake Coogee
    • Goodchil Park, Hamilton Hill
    • Colorado Park Aubin Grove
    • Woodman Point Beach (only) - south of Ammunition Jetty (adjacent to John Graham Reserve) to where it intersects with the current do exercise (off-leash) area

    Dogs may be off-leash within the area (but effective control by the owner is still required). Dogs must be held by a leash when:

    • designated sporting fields are in use;
    • City officers are using power tools or mowing; or 
    • at the direction of  a City officer

    What are the proposed changes to Woodman Point Beach?

    Currently, dogs are permitted at Woodman Point Beach on a leash. 

    The plan suggests dogs be allowed off leash at Woodman Point Beach, provided the dog is under effective control by the owner.

    Will there be more enclosed dog exercise areas?

    The draft plan proposes two additional enclosed dog exercise spaces. The following spaces are proposed due to their distance away from existing enclosed dog parks in the Central and Eastern Wards of the City boundaries.

    • Macfaull Park, Spearwood 
    • Radonich Park, Beeliar

    Should an enclosed dog space be provided at these locations, most of the City's residents would live within a 3km catchment of a dog park. Further consultation with the local community would also be required. 

    What does the draft Plan mean for cat owners?

    If the draft plan is approved by Council, a new Local Law for cats will be drafted. The intent of this law will be to confine domestic cats to people's property, as is required of dog owners. Changes would take place in stages:

    1. Create the Local Law;
    2. Prohibit cats from certain areas, such as Conservation Reserves and Regional Parks;
    3. Educate cat owners on how to confine cats to their property;
    4. Introduce a ban of cats wandering outside of their owner’s property.

    The plan proposes some additional initiatives to assist cat owners with this transition, such as subsidies for cat confinement enclosures and microchipping.

    What digital technology initiatives will be explored?

    Currently, City Rangers are leading the way in the use of digital technology with the application of mobile body cameras and other new technology. Proposed initiatives in the plan include:

    • Geo-fencing with reader to monitor dogs entering into dog prohibited areas
    • Improve the Ranger's ability to integrate internal data relating to previous dog offence history
    • CCTV cameras and analytics programs to monitor usage of fenced dog parks
    • Smart trapping and GPS tagging of traps within conservation reserves for feral cat control
    • Solar powered sensor lights for fenced dog parks

    Future potential applications of digital innovations include:

    • Improved data collection and database management of dog and cat owners
    • Digital registrations and automatic renewals
    • Targeted communication with pet owners
    • Reuniting or rehoming lost and unwanted animals
    • Dealing with barking dog issues via digital sound monitors
    • Accessing pet registration data in a mobile environment
    • Remotely monitoring dog bag dispensers
    • Waste collection remote vehicles

    How will we invest in animal management under this Plan?

    The draft Plan proposes an estimated $500,000 would be required over five years. This budget also includes extensive capital infrastructure for two new dog parks and using smart city technology to improve amenity for dog park users. Some of this infrastructure includes, but not limited to solar lighting and CCTV.

    How can I have my say on this Plan?

    The City is seeking your feedback on the draft Plan. 

    Please share your comments on the draft plan at comment.cockburn.wa.gov.au before 5pm Wednesday 26 August 2020. 

    Feedback will help to inform a review of the Plan. Once finalised, the Plan would be presented to Council for consideration and adoption at the September 2020 Council Meeting.

    What will happen next?

    After the comment period, feedback will be compiled and assessed. A complied report along with an amended draft Animal Management and Exercise Plan will be presented to Council at their September Ordinary Council Meeting.