1500 people for a dog park to be moved
MORE than 1400 people have signed a petition to either enclose or move an unofficial off-leash dog park where a person was bitten last December.
Moreton Bay Council is pushing to scrap appeal rights for owners of vicious dogs that are ordered to be put down after a spate of dog attacks which have left people and other animals with serious injuries.
Yet it has dragged its feet on calls to make the off-leash area at Sweeney Reserve in Petrie safer for both wildlife and the community.
In January, Pine Rivers Press reported an incident at the reserve where a woman was bitten by a dog off its leash while its owner was just meters away.
She said the dog ignored calls from its owner and ran towards her with its teeth barred before biting her on the leg.
"It was an unprovoked, aggressive attack," she said.
She said the owner of the dog apologised and left without providing his details.
There have been other reports of dogs running out of the off-leash area and harassing pedestrians, children, other dogs that are on leashes, and there was one known incident of a dog killing a wallaby nearby.
Local koala groups regularly rescue koalas and their joeys from the area which is part of one of the few remaining koala corridors in the area.
Mayor Allan Sutherland said there were 730 dog attacks across the region in 2018 and he blamed irresponsible owners for the problem.
However, the council encourages dog owners to use the off-leash area at Sweeney Reserve, despite the fact that it is not fully enclosed.
A council spokesman said the dog park had been in place for more than 40 years and, despite saying in the past it would be relocated, the council has instead installed a dog water fountain and poo bags in the space.
Many residents have become fed up with the council's inaction, with some asking it to be moved or enclosed more than two years ago.
At the time of going to print, 1432 people had signed a petition to get it fully enclosed or moved to a space where it can be fully enclosed.
The council spokesman said Cr Denise Sims (Div 7) and Cr Mick Gillam (Div 8) recently met with local koala care groups last week to discuss this issue.
"I do want to be clear that 99 per cent of dog owners do the right thing, and that is why council have listened to both sides to look for alternative locations," he said.
Cr Gillam invited the online petitioners to also be briefed by council officers.
"I don't think there's much point complaining online, I'm more solution-oriented and so I'd like to meet with them to hear their ideas," he said.
"We have committed to koala campaigners that we will fix this problem and have had our planning and environment teams brief them on the issues."
The petition is at: http://chng.it/yZsGcMJsGV