Dogs will be prohibited from being taken into several conservation areas under a new Ipswich City Council local law.
Council recently overhauled a raft of local laws, with some significant changes and minor amendments. They come into force from 1 November.
One involves stopping dogs going into some of the city’s conservation estates and nature reserves to protect the wildlife in those areas.
In particular, popular nature recreation sites Flinders-Goolman and White Rock – Spring Mountain conservation estates, Purga Nature Reserve and Kholo Gardens will no longer be places people can take their dogs.
Infrastructure and Environment General Manager Charlie Dill said there were a number of reasons for the change to the local law.
“These areas are sanctuaries for the protection of native plants and animals,” he said.
“They are vitally important for the survival of many threatened species, including Ipswich’s faunal emblem the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby.
Where you can take your dog on-leash and off-leash and where dogs are now banned
“We have seen large increases in the number of people visiting high-value conservation areas for recreation which includes a significant number of people taking their dogs into the estates.
“Even obedient dogs on a leash affect the behaviour of wildlife. The presence of dogs, their scent and barking raises the stress levels of native animals and can cause them to move away from the area.
“These conservation areas are also home to native animals – such as kangaroos, lace monitors and snakes – which could severely injure or kill a domestic dog if threatened.
“Roaming dogs do kill, injure and threaten native animals, and barking and scents left by dogs attract other predatory animals.
“Council’s important feral animal control program is also affected by the presence of domestic dogs in conservation areas.
“There are also instances of dog walkers coming into conflict with other estate users at camping and picnic grounds, on walking trails and causing particular issue with horse-riders and mountain bike riders.”
Mr Dill said there would be an education and awareness period to make residents and visitors aware of the change, with signage being installed and council officers on site at key conservation areas.
Fines will then be introduced after the two-month grace period, from 1 January 2020.
More information on the local law reviews and on the specific changes can be found here.