Council lets dogs and their owners off the leash
JUDY Parker and her two maltese friends Tammie and Cherrie were among the first to make lawful use of Gympie's new off-leash dog park yesterday.
The right of every playful dog to chase a ball or romp with mates is now officially recognised with local law changes formally announced in yesterday's Queensland Government Gazette.
Judy's canine family was not the first to use of the enclosed section of Archery Park, but they were among the first to do so legally.
Councillors had been advised that dogs were technically required to be on a leash on public land anywhere in Gympie Region.
Changes would be needed to exempt leash-free areas, such as Archery Park and, soon, at the other end of town, at Alford Park.
And those changes had to be ratified by the State Government and gazetted, a formal procedure which came into effect yesterday.
Councillor Rae Gate was joined by leash-free advocate Cr Mick Curran, who said the park had already been a big success, even before being legalised.
"I have some information about people who have been blatantly breaking the local law and are very happy with it," the councillor and police sergeant joked at this week's council meeting.
"I am aware the facility has been a hit already with people taking their dogs there," Cr Gate also conceded.
"I'll bet it will be even more pleasant for them now it is legal.
"I'm really chuffed this one is legal and we'll now start working on the one at Lake Alford," she said.
"This has got to be the best thing the council has ever done," retiree-nomad Judy Parker said.
"It's great to find a dog-friendly town."