Establishment of Leash-Free Areas in Guyra

25th Apr 2023

Armidale Regional Council is expected to endorse a proposal at its April meeting that will see a leash free area established in Guyra for use by dog owners.
A report to the meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday April 26th, recommends council go ahead with the proposed leash free area at the South Guyra Park in Sandon St.
However, a second area which was to be set aside in Balblair St has been put on hold following objections by nearby residents.
A further report on the need for a second leash-free area in Guyra, will be prepared once the established area has been accessible to the public for a minimum of 12 months.
It follows an extended period of public exhibition during which fourteen (14) submissions, including one petition, were received. The petition contained 97 signatures (22 of which were not Guyra residents) who were opposed to the Balblair Street site only.
The submissions raised a number of objections, including that money should be spent on other more urgent projects, that the Balblair Street site was unsuitable, and concerns about maintenance and car parking.
Submissions also outlined concerns that areas should be available to all local residents not just dog owners and that leash free areas would not be utilised by local residents. Council received one submission in favour of both proposed sites.
The establishment of leash-free areas in Guyra was contemplated as far back as the 2020/2021 Operational Plan but was not pursued.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 requires Council to provide at least one off-leash area within the Armidale Regional Council LGA.
Whilst Armidale Regional Council has fulfilled its obligations under this Section by having five (5) leash free areas in Armidale, there is a demonstrable need for permanent leash-free areas in Guyra.