Dog parks miss out in Fund My Neighbourhood round one

Three separate dog park proposals for the Barossa through the state government’s $40 million Fund My Neighbourhood project have been rejected ‘in principle’ by The Barossa Council.

WARRANTED: Keen to see a dog park established in the Barossa are Nuriootpa's Kate Stafford, Zoe, Brian and Jan Cave, Buddy, and Jenny and Fred Nitschke, Hazel and Jimmy.

WARRANTED: Keen to see a dog park established in the Barossa are Nuriootpa's Kate Stafford, Zoe, Brian and Jan Cave, Buddy, and Jenny and Fred Nitschke, Hazel and Jimmy.

At a special ordinary meeting last Wednesday evening, elected members agreed to support 26 of the 39 public nominated projects for the region.

Fund My Neighbourhood, announced during this year’s State Budget, urged community members to put forward projects they believed would enhance and benefit their local area. The program is designed to give all South Australians the opportunity to submit ideas and vote on these to improve their neighbourhoods and bring communities together.

For Nuriootpa's Jenny Nitschke, who made a submission for a dog park at the corner of Memorial Avenue and Kokoda Road, Nuriootpa, the news is “disappointing”.

“A fenced in area would mean dogs would not run onto roads; we have no suitable areas,” she said.

“We are not reinventing the wheel here and with Mental Health Week upon us – it’s a good way to come together and and make us feel mentally good.”

Tanunda's Tobi Knowles said he liked the majority of proposed projects, but “the lack of a dog park in the Barossa is a shame”.

“A dog park will be a huge community addition, all demographics can benefit and different age groups can interact and build relationships,” he said.

Also in support of the venture was Schubert MP Stephan Knoll, who said it was essential for the community.

“It's especially good for larger towns where there is lots of traffic and it will help more people to be active,” he said.

Council's community project director Jo Thomas said the decision to “not support” 13 projects centred on finances and timing.

“The state government asked us to review the projects for assessment and these are our recommendations,” she said.

“Fencing itself (for dog parks) is expensive and there would be consideration needed for water and if there was active play with tunnels which adds to the costs.”

The cost of the dog parks was estimated between $100,000 and $300,00 following council’s assessment of other dog parks within the state as a comparison.

However, Mr Knoll believed a dog park could be done on “quite a simple basis with minimal capital investment”.

"Dog and Cat Management guidelines are comprehensive and what we are looking for here is fencing and gates,” he said.

A report from council said the dog parks do “align with the Community Plan” but council had “not been supportive or seen this as a priority when new initiatives or requests were raised in the past”.

Ms Thomas said while 13 projects were not supported by council, all 39 would be presented to state government for consideration.

Projects which may miss out could be considered for round two; with a total of $20 million allocated across SA for round one, a further $20m will be made available next year. Following verification of submitted ideas by state government, eligible projects will be published online for SA residents to vote on later this month. Successful projects will be announced later this year. 

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