Letters to the Editor

OFF LEASH a great initiative; now the need for more 

The City of Ballarat must be commended for the initiative of the Wendouree Dog Park, a fenced area for dogs to exercise and socialise safely off leash, on the grounds of the former Wendouree Swimming Pool site. The success of the Wendouree Dog Park is highly evident, with up to 30 dogs and their owners regularly enjoying the facility simultaneously, at peak times. The Wendouree Dog Park even has a Facebook group of over 200 members.

Based on the success of the Wendouree Dog Park and conversations with its current users, it is clear many responsible dog-owning ratepayers of Ballarat want fenced off leash dog parks closer to home. Those of us who have written to the City of Ballarat about aspects of the Wendouree Dog Park have been told that the dog park is "an experiment". What is not an experiment is the overwhelming success and positive experiences of the Wendouree Dog Park for its users and their dogs. Yes, there have been some fairly isolated unfortunate incidents, where dogs and occasionally their owners have lost "control". But overwhelmingly, the dog park is a location of harmony and social interaction for both humans and dogs of all sizes, ages, shapes and breeds. I maintain that all dog-owning ratepayers and their animals, deserve a similar local fenced off leash dog park, within easy access of their home. Why this has not as yet happened at Victoria Park is unfathomable.

The popularity of pets in Ballarat means the demand by dog lovers for places to exercise them on and off-leash are growing every year. File pic

The popularity of pets in Ballarat means the demand by dog lovers for places to exercise them on and off-leash are growing every year. File pic

Traditionally, it has been the go-to location for off leash exercise for dogs. It is centrally located and is equipped with amenities and infrastructure that far surpass those of the Wendouree Dog Park. Prompt development of at least one more fenced dog park within Ballarat would ease the pressure on Wendouree Dog Park, whose success has been so overwhelming that many dog owners are now feeling the park is so crowded at peak times they can no longer safely exercise their pets there.

I implore the City of Ballarat to roll out at least one fenced, off leash dog park in every council ward by the end of 2017, and to ensure there is a fenced dog park at Victoria Park, by March if not sooner.

Fiona Ludbrook, Wendouree

Confusion over Eureka commemoration

I write with regards to letters to the editor from Raoul Dixon and Jenny Hynes in The Courier and to correct misunderstandings. I think the confusion was caused by the juxtaposition of two separate events reported in The Courier recently. I understand there was an effigy burned, as happens annually and has done for many years, by the Reclaim the Radical Spirit of The Eureka Rebellion Celebrations in the Eureka Stockade Memorial Gardens on 3 December. This activity was not, and has never been, a part of the commemoration ceremonies held annually by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE). I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Raoul Dixon when he says "… the fact is that she (Pauline Hanson) was democratically elected and has the right to express her views. It is up to the public what they make of them".

The past three years of Eureka commemorations I have personally been involved in organising at MADE, we have been proud to present; Eureka160 Mr Rob Knowles AO (former MLC and MADE Patron), Eureka 161 Mr Graeme Innes AM (Australia's former Disability Discrimination Commissioner) and this year noted Chinese Australian Mr Mike Yang (President Chinese Community Council of Australia Vic), Mr Bruce Atkinson President of the Legislative Council and Uncle Bryon Powell (Wathaurong Elder). I look forward to welcoming both Mr Dixon and Ms Hynes to MADE for Eureka163 in 2017 so that together we may keep the proud spirit of Eureka alive in the public mind today.

Sarah Masters, Managing director , MADE