Start the New Year on the right paw and avoid a fine

Penalties for taking dogs into high value conservation areas will kick in from January 1, 2020.

Changes were made to an Ipswich City Council Local Law in November 2019, which banned dogs from going into a number of conservation areas across the city, including popular sites Flinders-Goolman and White Rock-Spring Mountain Conservation Estates, Purga Nature Reserve and Kholo Gardens.

From January 1, people taking dogs into those prohibited areas risk an on-the-spot fine of $266, with the maximum penalty more than $2600.

Since November, Council has focused on an education and awareness campaign to make residents and visitors aware of the local law change, with signage, social media and Council officers on site.

Conservation Visitor Management Officer Jody Gilbert said face-to-face interactions on site had gone well over the education period.

“We targeted peak times including early mornings, early evenings and weekends when we knew from our research people were most likely to be walking dogs,” she said.

“The general response from regular visitors is that they are really pleased Council is doing something about removing dogs from these high value conservation areas.

“We had dog owners who were very understanding of the local law change and keen to explore other natural areas Council recommends on our website. However some dog owners have been reluctant to abide by the local law.

“It was disappointing to see some dog owners not only continuing to enter the estate, but also letting their dogs off leash, which causes increased harm on our precious environments.”

“This local law is not about ruining dog owners’ outdoor enjoyment, it is about preserving these areas as sanctuaries for the protection of native plants and animals.”

 Where you can take your dog on-leash and off-leash and where dogs are now banned

Ms Gilbert said a variety of dog breeds had been spotted at conservation estates during the education period, from Labradors to Maltese terriers.

“It doesn’t matter the size or breed of the dog, or even how well behaved they are. It’s the smells, sounds and the presence of dogs that causes problems for native wildlife and attract other predators,” she said.

As part of the campaign the community are encouraged to report dog sightings in the conservation estates by calling Council on 3810 6666.

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>>>Dogs to be banned from Ipswich high-value conservation areas

One Comment

  1. I have run with my dog at White Rocks for years both for the enjoyment and also for safety.
    I have concerns about single runners/walkers safety both from wild dogs in the area but also u savouries that may be lurking in these areas.
    With the number of attacks, muggings and attempted attacks in the Ipswich/Springfield areas over the last few years it seems reduculous that we can’t run with our 4egged mates as both company and protection.

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