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Letter To The Editor – Dog Park Gone Wrong

| Oct-2020 |

In August 2018 a Knox City Council flyer informed Rowville residents that a dog park was to be developed on
Emerson Place Reserve, opposite Wellington Village Shopping Centre. The flyer included a link to a survey to
respond, but did not allow objectors to object. Many residents wrote to council with their concerns and
objections, which fell on deaf ears.

The plan in the flyer showed the largest grass area being replaced by a fenced area of sand and rocks for dogs.
Local residents are not objecting to the idea of a dog park, simply that this dog park be developed in a park that
is big enough without destroying the original park.

Residents formed a committee to communicate their concerns to council in a uniform manner. To date this
process has proven to be futile, as Council does not seem to think our concerns need discussing.
In 2020, residents raised a petition with 71 objections and others have come forward since. Council’s response
simply pushed aside concerns by residents living around the park, and some objectors are dog owners.

The residents object to this location for the dog park at Emerson Place Reserve on these grounds:
– too close to homes, also breaches government guidelines
– the Reserve will not accommodate a dog park without destroying the area for general use by residents
– it will occupy around two thirds of the grassed area of the park
– there are more suitable options within a short distance
– the Reserve serves many townhouses behind Wellington Village that only have very small backyards
for children to play
– the existing park is wrapped around a blind corner presenting many safety concerns with passing cars
and pedestrians given its proximity to Wellington Village
– with no foreseeable end to COVID-19, Knox City Council wants to continue their plans to develop a
place of assembly, and not consider suspending the process, as other Melbourne councils close their
dog parks
– Knox City Council has not genuinely consulted with residents in this process but simply used a public
relations exercise to tell residents what is happening to their park, rather than treating its residents in a
fair and reasonable manner

For more information please contact the residents committee at eprrcommittee@gmail.com or contact
Ombudsman Victoria at complaints@ombudsman.vic.gov.au

Emerson Place Reserve Residents Committee

  • Dec'20

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