Girl with DogChief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Jon Stanhope, has announced the site of Canberra’s third off-leash dog park.  Three sites had been shortlisted, and Weston Park won out over Grevillea Park in Russell, and Black  Mountain Peninsula.

Community groups, such as the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, the Dog Parks Community Reference Group, dog clubs, residents’ associations, and community councils, were invited to participate in the consultation.  Dogs and humans must have weighed the pros and cons very carefully before giving their opinions.

Of course, in the end, it was the ACT Government which made the decision.  After all, it has committed $250,000 of our money to the park.

Mr Stanhope said that Weston Park, adjacent to the Royal Canberra golf course, was an “ideal site because of its central location, availability of urban space, access to non-potable water for irrigation, power supply, shade and accessibility”.

The Chief Minister went on to say that “the fenced-off park will provide a dedicated space for dogs and their owners to exercise and socialise in central Canberra.  It will feature walking paths, seats, landscaped gardens, bubblers and water supplies for dogs”.  Sounds delightful.  I hope that the canines and their companions will be suitably grateful.

The Weston Park off-leash dog park should be completed by June 2010.  However, time must be left for the grass to be established before it is opened later in the year.  I could make a comment about politicians watching grass grow, but I shall refrain.  It’s Christmas. 

The other two dog parks in Belconnen and Tuggeranong were completed over the last twelve months, and are now used by up to 100 Canberrans and their canine companions every weekend.  The Territory’s Government obviously has its eye on the doggie vote.  When is that going to be introduced?