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We are considering developing a fenced dog play area in Boroondara, where people can exercise, play, train and socialise with their dogs in a secure off-leash space.

A portion of Gordon Barnard Reserve adjacent to the existing pool has been identified as a potential location. Regardless of the outcome of the consultation, the remainder of the reserve will continue to be a dog on-leash area.

Key facts about the project


These spaces have been growing in popularity over recent years. They provide benefits for dogs, their owners, the surrounding environment and community.

They provide new opportunities to contribute to happy, healthy, well socialised dogs, and provide an outlet for dog owners to exercise and socialise with like-minded people and their canine companions.

Community consultation

In March 2020, we conducted community consultation to seek feedback on a proposal to develop a fenced dog play area within a portion of Gordon Barnard Reserve.

We received feedback from a wide representation of the community, with over 200 local residents sharing their thoughts via email, the online survey and in person.

After analysing the feedback, Council officers presented a report to Council for their consideration at the Services Special Committee meeting held on Monday 10 August 2020.

At the meeting, Council resolved to:

  1. Note the consultation outcomes and thank all submitters for their feedback received during this process.
  2. Proceed with:
    • a reduced scope Fenced Dog Play Area in a portion of Gordon Barnard Reserve and
    • the implementation of additional ‘dog friendly play areas’ at Markham Reserve, Boroondara Park, Lynden Park and Pridmore Park, as funding permits. 
  3. Commence the process to amend the Council Order to designate a portion of Gordon Barnard Reserve as a dog off-leash area under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. 
  4. Receive a report to consider submissions received regarding the proposed amendment of the Order.


Next steps

We held community consultation seeking feedback to amend Council’s Order to establish the area set aside within Gordon Barnard Reserve (between the existing pool and eastern oval) as a designated, fenced dog off-leash area.

The consultation closed on Sunday 20 September 2020.

Council officers are analysing the feedback and will prepare a report for Council’s consideration at a future meeting.

If Council decides to amend the Order, community consultation on a concept design for the fenced dog play area in the delineated portion of Gordon Barnard Reserve will follow.

Proposed fenced dog play area


When Stage Progress update
March 2020 Initial community consultation We asked the community for feedback on providing a new fenced dog play area in Gordon Barnard Reserve. 
August 2020 Community Consultation feedback from March 2020 reported to Council and Councillors.

We presented the findings and outcomes from the March consultation period to Council and Councillors.

August to September Community consultation on the designation of a portion of Gordon Barnard Reserve as a dog off-leash area. We asked the community for feedback on amending Council’s Order to designate the area set aside within Gordon Barnard Reserve (between the existing pool and eastern oval) as a fenced dog off-leash area.

Key design considerations

Pending the outcome of the consultation process, the design will be very important for the creation of this fenced dog play area. Any design will need to ensure we maintain and protect the existing environmental and amenity features of the park. Design considerations will be developed once we gather all community feedback.

Dog agility equipment, lighting and water play features are not being considered as part of this project.


While parking activity during autumn/winter on weekends significantly increases due to football games on the lower and upper ovals, parking is still expected to be readily available in the mornings and evenings.

During the day, parking tends to be well utilised, however we expect the needs of users of the fenced dog play area that are not met in the small car park could be accommodated in other Gordon Barnard Reserve Oval car parks.

Pending the outcome of the consultation process, further parking analysis may be required.


The fenced nature of a dog play area helps minimise potential conflicts with other park users and there would be appropriate signage provided throughout the reserve outlining the expectations of users.


Our research into established dedicated fenced dog play areas in other municipalities has not indicated a significant increase in noise associated with these facilities. 

Opening hours

Use of this fenced dog play area would be encouraged between 6am and 9pm.

It may be closed from time to time for maintenance or to allow time for the turf to recover from wear and tear from dog use.

Who can use the fenced area?

Any dog owner can use the area, provided they adhere to the user guidelines. Members of the general public are welcome in these spaces and dog owners are required to maintain effective voice control of their dogs at all times.

Unsupervised dogs are not permitted within the area.

Use of the facility by commercial providers will not be permitted.

Respecting other users

Our local laws guide effective use of our parks and gardens and users will be required to follow these guidelines to maintain effective dog ownership. This includes picking up after your dog and disposing of dog litter.

The fenced dog play area would include rubbish bins and bag dispensers. 

Dog park rules and etiquette would be clearly explained and marked on site. 

More information

For status updates, see the Fenced dog play areas in Boroondara project page.

For more information, please contact our Environment and Sustainability team on 9278 4060 or at [email protected].

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