The State Government has made it pretty clear that dog owners should not expect the current dog off leash area in G.J. Walter Park to remain, if there is any development resulting from the Toondah Harbour PDA development scheme.
Many dog lovers made submissions to the Government that the large dog off leash area should not be impacted by possible redevelopment of the area around Toondah Harbour. However, in its Toondah Harbour Submissions Report released on 31 May 2014, the Government did not commit to retaining one of the best dog recreation facilities in south east Queensland.
The Submissions Report noted in “matter #102” that “Some submitters thought the dog park should be protected and more detail should be provided about its size to demonstrate how it will be incorporated into the new scheme.”
However, the Government’s responses to these concerns are vague and meaningless. It said: “The value of GJ Walter Park to the community and the many functions and activities it hosts had been acknowledged through the protection of the recreational function of the park”. This does not mean that current recreational functions will be retained. It just means that the park will be used for some form of recreation.
The Government went on to say: “The Development Scheme seeks to achieve a balance between land identified for community, open space, residential and commercial uses. Accordingly the Development Scheme aims to ensure no net loss of public open space within the PDA.”
This means that the current area of open space might be the same as the new area of open space once any development is completed but offers no guarantee that this will be so.
The approved development scheme makes two references to dog facilities.
In section 3.0 of the scheme it says that one of the criteria for land use planning is:
“an appropriately sized recreation and open space area in GJ Walter Park providing formal and informal recreational activities and a dog park”
And in section 4.0 it says:
“Provide for improved facilities in GJ Walter Park including dog off leash areas.”
These requirements could be complied with by providing the standard tennis court size facility which is of little value, especially for owners with larger, more active pets.
People who value the excellent G.J. Walter Park dog off leash area which gives dogs and their owners beach access should immediately express their dissatisfaction with the Government’s rude and uncaring responses to their local member of State parliament and to all of the Redland City Mayor and Councillors.
Revised 20 June 2014