Issues remain unsolved

Issues remain unsolved

Some time ago East Gippsland Shire erected dog bag dispensers along the Esplanade and Marine Parade in Lakes Entrance, however some residents are concerned the dispensers are not being refilled.

The dispensers incorporate a sign the shape of a dog reminding people they need to pick up after their dogs, with a dispenser supplying bags below.

It was seen as a proactive and practical way to encourage dog owners to do the right thing.

“A wonderful idea,” Lakes Entrance resident, Chris Wallace, said.

“It shows our town is concerned that dog droppings should not be left on the ground or go into our waterways.

“I have been checking the dispensers since well before Christmas and they have always been empty.”

Council’s community laws coordinator, Bill Petersen, said the signs and dispensers were first installed in approximately 2012 at various locations within the shire, including five dispensers in Lakes Entrance located at Apex Park, Marine Parade/Rowe Street, on the foreshore opposite No 1 The Esplanade, Mechanics Street and near the rotunda.

“Bags are only replaced at approximately three-month intervals and are used as an education tool, reminding people to carry their own bag. Bags are scheduled to be refilled this week,” Mr Petersen said.

“The signs and dispensers have routinely been stolen/vandalised.”

Mr Petersen said to promote and encourage responsible pet ownership the public are encouraged to bring a bag from home and dispose of it again at home in their bin at the end of the walk.

“It is council’s belief that education, in conjunction with the signage and regular enforcement, will encourage compliance with council’s general local law,” Mr Petersen said.

Under council’s general local law, the owner or person in charge of an animal must carry a receptacle, dispenser, bag or other similar device in which to place the excrement of the animal when the animal is on any road, nature strip or council land or any property on which he or she does not normally reside.

A person in charge of an animal must not allow any part of the animal’s excrement to remain on any road, nature strip, or council landor any property on which he or she does not normally reside.

The seating and flower boxes that have been erected in the lane between Mannie’s Market and the Lakes Entrance Newsagent on the Esplanade are also causing concern for some locals.

The contents of the flower boxes have been left to die and have had weeds and the remnants of dead plants in them for well over a year, according to locals.

After enquiring with an East Gippsland Shire staff member why the plant boxes are not maintained, it was pointed out that there is no available water supply.

One local resident suggested if council cannot maintain something it established, local businesses or maybe a garden club could adopt the area.

“Local shops may be happy to provide some water to make this a colourful and vibrant area,” she said.

And while both the dog bag dispensers and laneway gardens have been of concern, most notably the off-leash dog park still has residents asking questions.

A fence has been erected at the Aquadome site and signage, however other improvements are yet to be completed.

Evett Park has long been muted as a potential off-leash park with a petition signed by 240 residents.

Council recently announced it is contemplating making the entire shire dog off-leash with certain sections to be titled ‘on-leash’.

Linda Richardson, has strongly voiced her concerns about an off-lead shire.

“I cannot believe the shire would be serious about works to create the entire region dog off-leash,” she said.

PICTURED: The off-leash dog park area at the Aquadome is one issue that is causing concern for local residents.