Plans for puppy park

Circular Head locals including Simone Hall, Cassidy Tackley, Peter and Annie Ryan, and Gina Jackson are asking for community support in establishing a dog park in Smithton. Picture: Ashleigh Force.

Project. A place where our four-legged friends can play and owners can chat, is what a group of locals is proposing for Smithton.

In recent months, the group has been meeting with Circular Head Council to discuss the potential for a dog park in Smithton. Next week, they will put forth a formal proposal and letters of support. 

The animal lovers, including Michelle Painter, Gina Jackson and Kerrie Fraser, are now calling for support from the wider community.

Aiming to gather 800 letters, this support will equal around 10 per cent of Circular Head’s population.

“We need to show the community is happy to support and wants a park, that it would be utilised,” says Gina, as Michelle adds: “The more support we have, the more likely we can make this happen.”

While there are off-lead areas within the region, the group says it is primarily concerned about road safety.

“There are a few of us who actually drive to Burnie [for our dogs] to play in the fenced-in area,” says Michelle.

The group is proposing a fenced-in area that would be sectioned off for bigger dogs and small dogs.

“Taking them for a walk on a lead is a lot different to having a run around,” says Kerrie.

“If we could bring them to something like this, they would quite enjoy it. And they’re worn out for the rest of the day.”

The group hopes the spot would become a social spot for all.

“I’m from Queensland,” says Michelle, “There, dog parks are a really big part of the community. The parks draw communities closer.”

Perhaps a spot for Emmerton Park residents to enjoy a day out, for individuals and families alike to socialise, tourists to stop by and exercise their travel companions and for schools to become involved in.

“If you could ring up a friend and say, I’ll pick up the coffees and meet you there, it’s a social outing for us too,” says Kerrie.

The park will likely start off as a basic fenced-in area, where dogs can roam freely under the supervision of owners. Bag dispensers, bins, seats and water stations will be on hand however the group has big plans for the park, hoping to add equipment to the space in the future.

The proposal and letters of support will be presented at a workshop for councillors next week.

To support the project, email council@circularhead.tas.gov.au or visit Gina or Michelle at the post office in Smithton with a signed letter of support before Monday (September 3).

To keep up to date, check out the Smithton Dog Park page on Facebook.

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