Libs to back dog parks in Barossa

Schubert MP Stephan Knoll and Kelly Adams, Nuriootpa, have been advocating for a designated off-leash area for dogs in the Barossa.
Schubert MP Stephan Knoll and Kelly Adams, Nuriootpa, have been advocating for a designated off-leash area for dogs in the Barossa.

A $100,000 funding commitment from the state Liberal Party has been put on the table to see not one, but two dog parks established in the Barossa.

On Friday, Schubert MP Stephan Knoll met with dog owners at Heinemann Park, Tanunda, promising the funding – if a Liberal government is elected at next month’s state election.

Mr Knoll said the people had spoken, and he had listened.

“Any good local Member of Parliament listens to their community and this issue has had a groundswell of support,” he said.

“Hundreds and hundreds of people have said that this is an important issue for them.”

The community has been calling for a designated dog park for some time now, but dog owners upped the ante following The Barossa Council’s failure to endorse several dog park projects during the state government’s Fund My Neighbourhood program last year.

“This funding will support the development of two new dog parks – one in the northern part of the Barossa, and one in the south – which will be accessible to pet owners across the region,” Mr Knoll said.

“It’s exciting because in our community and as an MP we advocate for lots of things, but being able to deliver something is exciting.”

Mr Knoll thanked those who had supported the campaign and, including the Barossa Herald, which kicked off conversations in August.

“The Herald’s support for this campaign has been fantastic and has been a large part in helping to get this done,” he said.

Nuriootpa’s Kelly Adams is one of the people to have led the discussion and said it was a huge win to receive such support.

Happy dog owners gathered at Heinemann Park on Friday afternoon after Stephan Knoll's announcement.

Happy dog owners gathered at Heinemann Park on Friday afternoon after Stephan Knoll's announcement.

“There are a lot of hoops we still need to jump through, but I’m hoping with the funding proposal that will help to sweeten the deal,” she said.

“(Council) have clearly stated that their funds are invested in other projects at the moment so it’s not on board for the foreseeable future, but I truly believe it’s not a matter of yes or no, just a matter of when.”

Mr Knoll was scheduled to present a petition at this week’s Barossa Council meeting where he hoped council would give the nod of approval for the dog parks.

“Having spoken with people across the community, I know these dog parks will be popular additions to the Barossa and well-utilised by pet owners in the region,” he said.

“As the population in the Barossa increases, it is important we maintain open and secure spaces for residents to take their dogs.

“With the region being one of our state’s most popular destinations for day trippers and tourists, these new dog parks will also serve those visiting with their pets.

“It will provide safe spaces for dog owners to take their pets to play and interact with other animals in a secure and friendly environment.”