Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she would like to see dogs in every park, “but the reality is that’s not possible”.
“Whenever we look at new off-leash areas we need to balance the needs of the entire community,” she said.
Moore shot down the suggestion of Hyde Park, saying it was Australia’s oldest park and its 16 hectares of green space included important sites of national significance and space for reflection.
The closest off-leash dog area for Mali Whittingham-Vignes, who lives in Woolloomooloo, to walk Kiboko, her 10-month-old Great Dane, is Rushcutters Bay park.
She said it was important for dog owners to have easily accessible dog parks close to home and work.
“I think both Hyde Park and the Domain are such beautiful locations,” she said. “It would be a lovely place for me and other dog owners to meet and enjoy watching dogs run around.”
Plans to allow dogs in beaches and parks have divided residents in the northern beaches, inner west, eastern suburbs and the NSW south coast.
There have also been calls for off-leash areas just for small dogs, as the city’s rising canine population leads to conflict between pets and their owners.
Gannon said the southern section of Hyde Park near the Anzac Memorial, and the hill next to the Domain sports fields were possible locations for dogs to roam off-leash.
“Really as long as they’re not interrupting people playing sport, I think they should be able to run free,” he said.
Gannon said the…
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