Packing the frisbee with Fido in the coming year? Expect air in the East Gippsland Shire soon as council pushes to overhaul off-leash laws.
“We have two off-leash areas and are working on a project that will declare the majority of the Shire to be dog friendly,” says a spokesperson for the Shire.
The plans, due for community input soon, will permit dogs off leashes Shire-wide subject to conditions, if approved.
OFF-LEASH LAW IN EAST GIPPSLAND, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS
Council sought advice on defining ‘parameters’ that will trigger off-leash exclusions to protect sensitive and public spaces. Already, similar laws exist within the neighbouring Wellington Shire.
Council hopes the proposed off-leash laws for East Gippsland will reduce confusion.
Travellers with pets are winners if the move goes ahead, with 10 percent of Victoria within the East Gippsland Shire.
Lakes Entrance, Omeo, Buchan and Mallacoota are just some of the key tourist towns subject to the proposed changes.
In addition to overhauling the on-leash bylaws, East Gippsland Shire plans to install dog-friendly agility equipment.
A PET-FRIENDLIER PLACE
Sandi-Kate Hutchins, owner of the Prime Pet Friendly Tourist Park in Lakes Entrance, said a boost in off-leash areas will provide locals and visitors greater opportunity to exercise and bond with their animals.
She says the Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association, which has grown 10-fold in the past year, endorses local interest for greater pet-friendly facilities.
“The whole town is becoming pet-friendly,” says Sandi.
In fact, before Christmas, in phone calls to the 21 other local caravan parks, Sandi identified that 13 accommodated pets either on campsites or cabins.
A figure up from 3 just four years ago.
Sandi and her husband, Daryl, purchased the centrally-located caravan park four years ago. The couple renamed it Prime Pet Friendly Tourist Park due to growing interest in their older style dog-friendly cabins.
The couple now cater exclusively to this market sector.
Since the name change, Sandi and Daryl have installed a self service dog wash and offer dog-minding services during office hours.
Currently, they are constructing a large dog run complete with obstacles and a worm composting pet poop disposal facility.
Today, pets are welcome in their well-appointed, deluxe two-bedroom cabins fitted with queen-size Koala mattresses. Both share a Tesla electric recharging station.