Council chews over dog park locations

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

The Barossa Council is pushing ahead with its plan to establish two dog parks in the area, but the finer details are still being worked out.

Last month (June 2019), the Council approved extra funding to increase the size of the proposed northern Nuriootpa park, while at the same time it has deferred investment in the southern, Williamstown based park, while it looks for an alternative, larger location, possibly at Doug Lane Reserve.

But last month’s Council decision is already in doubt, with Barossa Mayor Bim Lange contacting Councillors with a plan to rescind the motion to seek an alternative site for the southern, Williamstown park.

Mayor Lange sees the Doug Lane Reserve as “inappropriate” as it lacks formal parking and water connections - and at this stage the land is still owned by the State Government rather than the Council, which the Mayor fears may lead to additional “unbudgeted” costs.

But the Williamstown Action Group (WAG) disagrees with the Mayor. The group, who worked to produce a plan and costings for a dog park in 2017, but missed out on funding through the previous Government’s “Fund my Neighbourhood” scheme, are worried that the original proposed location – at Queen Victoria Jubilee Park - will not be large enough, and will be outside the view of passing tourists.

Instead they maintain that Doug Lane Reserve is the best location in Williamstown and will be pushing ahead with their support for the reserve, which puts the ball firmly back in the Council’s court as it gears up to debate how they will move forward.

With such overwhelming support from public consultation, it seems certain that the Barossa will be getting its very own dog parks, but where and when still seem to be issues that need to be decided!

The case for Barossa dog parks began back in August 2018, when, based on overwhelming endorsement from the public feedback process, the Council threw its support behind the establishment of two dog parks in the Barossa region.

The Council had circulated a short survey with questions about potential community costs and benefits as well as a dog park wish-list. Of the 435 responses received over 90% indicated “they believe the Barossa Community will benefit from dog park/s in our region”, while a mere 7% believed dog parks brought no benefit for the community.

Happy dog plays with his tug-toy on the grass in a dog park
Over 90% of respondents to the Council survey indicated they believed the Barossa Community would benefit from dog parks

The pro-park case was boosted with the current Minister for Planning and Member for Schubert, Stephan Knoll, delivering on his election promise to deliver $100,000 in funding for the parks’ establishment.

In December last year the Council endorsed two park locations – a northern dog park to be located on Penrice Road, opposite the Nuriootpa High School Oval, while a southern dog park was proposed for Williamstown at the Queen Victoria Jubilee Park.

It was planned that both parks will include fencing, water sources, a drinking fountain, double gates with self-closing locks, bins and signage, and were expected to cost approximately $55,000 each to establish.

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