Enhanced Inclusion of Dogs in Community Spaces & on Inner-City Public Transport

Principal Petitioner Annie Boxall, New Farm
Date Closed Thu, 18 Apr 2019 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 2025 signatures

(View signatures)

Brisbane is now considered to be a world-class city particularly in the arts and liveability. Noticeably, for dog owners/lovers all over the city but most specifically in the inner-city areas, Brisbane continues to have an archaic view of dogs out and about within the community - though they play a major role for many people in terms of stress reduction, combating loneliness and increasing exercise and connection to the community. Off-leash areas are limited, small, often overwhelmed with users and in poor condition (no grass from overuse). In addition, getting around Brisbane with a dog without private transport is near impossible, and therefore creating a necessity to have cars out on the road to simply get between otherwise easily accessible areas such as New Farm to Bulimba, Hamilton to Bulimba, etc. This inconvenience has very real financial implications for business owners who would directly benefit from owners and their dogs being out and about on weekends and outside of work hours when they most wish to be with (and have a responsibility to meet the needs of) their dogs.

We respectfully petition Council to implement a program to allow dogs to travel on Brisbane's ferry services and on other modes of public transport, in conjunction with a system to ensure the safety of the travelling general public. By system, we recommend a complement of tactics aimed at ensuring the responsibilities of dogs owners in this scheme are known, transparent, vetted by managed constructs and met. Specifically, this means a certification program to ensure the behavioural suitability of dogs using these transport services which is simple to design, implement and manage. In addition, a code of conduct for dog owners would be made transparent and implemented as a condition of use of these services.

We also petition for use of New Farm Park to be shared more reasonably with pets. We petition for designated off-leash recreation use for dogs and owners between certain hours/days. Again, using certified criteria to ensure dogs are under verbal control of their owners and responsive to their owner's commands to a suitable level. We propose 5.00am - 7.00am & 6.00pm - 8.00pm Monday - Friday, and 5.00am - 7.00am Saturday and Sunday as dog-friendly times. These times have the lowest number of people in the park and can be granted with certain rules - dogs must be responsive to owner's commands, no walking on garden beds, pick up waste and dispose of, etc, all of which dog owners must adhere to and respect. These hours can also be seasonally adjusted as needed. Sydney and other international cities (New York, Washington, Paris, Cannes and Aspen to name a few recently visited and most airports, train stations and bus terminals across USA and Europe) all manage these types of dog-human shared spaces and transport services very well. The many positive aspects of dogs on transport are well documented across social media - more positive human interaction, enjoyment of patting the dogs, reducing travel stress for everyone, increasing human socialisation and interaction, etc. We respectfully request proper, mature and consultative consideration be given to making these changes towards a more international standard of inclusiveness of dogs within the community.

Your petitioners therefore request domestic dogs, with good behavioural standards and socialisation, be allowed to use public transport including inner-city bus services, cross-city and CityCat ferry services and trains. This can be granted alongside the implementation of a certification system that confirms the suitability of the dogs and owners to use these services safely. In addition, it is requested that use of New Farm Park be reconsidered as a shared off-leash recreation area for dogs and owners between certain hours and days. We propose between the hours of 5.00am - 7.00am & 6.00pm - 8.00pm Monday - Friday, and 5.00am - 7.00am Saturday and Sunday as shared dog-friendly park times.