Fence plan for Shearn

BAYSWATER city council will investigate fencing off Shearn Memorial Park in Maylands following concerns from locals over dog safety.

The park, designated as a dog off-leash exercise area, is beside the busy Central Avenue and locals wrote to council asking for a perimeter fence and traffic signage at the Carrington Street intersection.

The wire-mesh fence would replace the 20-year-old low-rail fence, which cannot be upgraded and has large gaps between each railing.

Cr Michelle Sutherland pushed for the fence to be included in the mid-year budget review, but other councillors said the budget was tight and granting the request could open the floodgates for similar requests.

“I’m worried that if we fence off this park we will set a precedent and people using other parks beside busy roads will ask for the same thing,” said deputy mayor Mike Sabatino.

“We would be inundated with people asking us to fence off reserves beside lakes, the Swan River or any other spots that are considered a hazard.

“There are over 160 parks in Bayswater and fencing off a lot of them would cost a lot of money and push up rates.”

Shearn Park, on the border of Stirling and Baysy, is an active reserve which becomes an on-leash area when it is used for sport.

Cr Chris Cornish says when he took his two sons down to play soccer at the reserve he found two dog turds in the goal mouth.

“I’m slightly concerned that fencing off the park would increase the number of dogs and impact the people who use it for sport,” he says.

“It is an active reserve and very popular with people who play sport—both dog walkers and people playing sport should be accommodated.”

Officers estimate that fencing off the entire park with 1.2m chain-mesh will cost approximately $35,000, while fencing off only the Central Avenue side will cost around $15,000.

Council voted to undertake community consultation, install a “Community Friendly Park” sign and consider allocating funding next year.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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