Dardanup council pushes forward with plans for Eaton foreshore dog area

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times

Dardanup shire councillors have voted to push forward with plans to establish a new fenced dog park on Eaton Foreshore despite vocal opposition from neighbouring residents.

A resolution to further develop concept plans for the eastern and western ends of the foreshore was supported by all councillors except Cr Janice Dow, while Cr Tyrrell Gardiner was absent from the meeting.

Shire president Mick Bennett said residents would have opportunities to comment as the plans developed.

“It then goes back through the committee system then council,” he said.

“We’ll look at it again as well because costs could blow out and we may need to cut that back.”

A record number of 532 respondents took part in a survey conducted by the council on the topic.

Results showed more than 62 per cent supported a fenced area, while 26 per cent were against it and 11 per cent were unsure.

Out of the five locations proposed in the survey more than 35 per cent indicated Eaton Foreshore was their preferred location while about 20 per cent favoured areas at either Eaton Oval or Watson Reserve.

Eaton resident Stacey Gillespie said she was disappointed by the council’s decisions because a map presented as part of the results indicated most dog owners lived elsewhere in Eaton and Millbridge.

“I am extremely disappointed but not surprised – they’ve had this location in mind since 2016 so I figured it would go that way,” she said.

“There are not many dogs in our area, yet they are still focussed on the eastern end.”

Mrs Gillespie said residents near the eastern end of the foreshore would speak to other government departments and ministers in order to prevent the area being constructed near their homes.

“I hold a small amount of hope that council will see sense and put it at the western end if they’re determined to ruin the river,” she said.

“I don’t think it should go on the river at all – I think that was just added to calm us down for a short period.”

Cr Bennett said a process was in place so council could work with the community to achieve the best outcome.

“The council obviously doesn’t want to get people off side so we will work with them to see what we can do,” he said.

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