City centre dog ban under review


FRANKSTON’S controversial dog ban is now under review.

Dogs are presently banned from Frankston’s central activity area, bordered by Fletcher Road, Davey Street, and Kananook Creek Boulevard. Frankston councillors agreed last week to begin a community consultation process which could lead to dogs being allowed on-lead in the CAA.

Council will also seek feedback on a cat curfew, and an off-lead dog beach. A report is expected to be presented back to council in July.

Cr Brad Hill called the issues being reviewed by council “contentious”.  “They are also items that come up regularly from our residents and ratepayers, and there are views on each side wanting change. There are people who want dogs out of central Frankston, and there are people who them in,” he said

“We’re constantly asked to re-examine. What the report here asks us to do (…)  is that we actually ask the public via a proper consultation process. Rather than listen to the squeaky wheels and often a loud minority, we’ll actually have proper consultation and try to understand the view of the community as a whole.”

Cr Sue Baker said “there was a plan to go out to consultation later in the year on these issues, but as a group of councillors we decided to bring it forward based on a lot of the changes people are living in their lives at the moment because of COVID-19.” 

The motion approved by councillors read that council would “maximise opportunities for community feedback in May and June 2021. Options on how to provide feedback both online and in writing will be widely communicated as part of the engagement.”

The dog ban debate came to a head a year ago when the previous Frankston Council chose to remove consultation on the issue from its Domestic Animal Management Plan review (“Community denied say on dog ban”, The Times, 17/3/2020).

Cr Kris Bolam said “given the public were disenfranchised last year in answering the questions posed before us tonight, I’m more than happy for this to go out to consultation.”

“It’s time we bring these historical legacy matters to a head,” Cr Bolam said.

First published in the Frankston Times – 6 April 2021

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