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Fenced Dog Play Park

Fenced Dog Play Park


We're developing a new fenced dog area at Piney Lakes Reserve.

Last Updated: 7 January 2022

We’ve developed a Concept Plan for a new fenced dog exercise area within Piney Lakes Reserve.  This is the first fenced dog play park in the City of Melville and will include two seperate spaces - a space for small dogs and a space for dogs of all sizes. 

Piney Lakes Reserve is a mixture bushland and wetland remnant surrounded by recreation space and urban development in the suburb of Winthrop, and also home to a destination Sensory Playspace. The Fenced Dog Play Park will be located north of the carpark, at a permitted dog off-leash area within the Reserve.

About the engagement

Draft Concept Plan

The draft Concept Plan includes two separate spaces (for small dogs and dogs of all sizes) and is fully fenced with a 1.8m high boundary fence, internally divided with a 1.5m solid fence. The main faciltiies/amenities include:

  • Dual-gated entrances.
  • Two entry points in each enclosure.
  • Shade shelters, seating and water fountains with dog bowls in each enclosure, connected to the main entry by a concrete path.
  • Mature shade trees, sand play areas and garden beds with planting and nature play items in each enclosure. Items for informal play would include logs, boulders, and log steppers.
  • Dog agility equipment.
  • Waste disposal (bins and bags dispensers).
  • Signs with park rules and etiquette.

View the draft Concept Plan

Opportunities to get involved

Public comment on the draft Concept Plan closed 4:00pm Friday, 29 October 2021.

To receive the latest updates and engagement opportunities straight to your email simply click on the Follow Engagement button at the top of this page.

How did this project come about?

In 2018, Council carried a notice of motion requesting a report for presentation at an Elected Members Information Session about the construction of an additional fenced dog exercise area in the City of Melville. After reviewing 173 parks and reserves, Attadale Reserve was determined as the only suitable location for a large dog exercise area either fully fenced (25,000sqm) or partially fenced (900m along Burke Drive). Following community feedback in 2019, Council resolved to not go ahead with either fencing option at Attadale Reserve. 

Further research indicated a smaller fenced dog play park could increase the number of suitable locations. This resulted in Stage 1 of community engagement to understand if there is community support for one or more fully fenced dog play parks.

In 2020, we explored the options of a fenced dog play park conept at 138 off-lead dog exercise areas in the City of Melville. A key outcome of Stage 2 of community engagement was the selection of Piney Lakes Reserve as a preferred location.

What were the stages of engagement and how did we inform the community?

Stage 1 - We engaged with the City of Melville community through an online survey to understand if there is in-principle support for a fully enclosed dog play park within the City of Melville. We invited a random sample of City of Melville residents and ratepayers through direct email notification. We also informed the community through social media, newspaper advertising, website and eNewsletters. 

Stage 2 - We engaged with the City of Melville community to understand their preferred locations for a fenced dog play park. We invited a new random sample of City of Melville residents and ratepayers through direct email notification. We also informed the community through social media, newspaper advertising, engagement update eblast, website and City eNewsletters. 

Stage 3 - Community are invited to view the draft and provide comment via a formal submission process. We invited 1,623 local residents and ratepayers 1km radius to the location and a new random sample of 5,000 City of Melville residents and ratepaers. We also informed the community through newspaper advertising, engagement update eblast, website, City eNewsletters and on-site signage.

Stage 1 - Community Involvement

During Stage 1 we asked for your feedback, via an online survey, to understand if there is community support for one or more fully fenced dog play parks which include dog agility and/or exercise equipment. 

At this stage, there is no budget allocated for the project. During the engagement period we heard from 920 community members, with 92% supporting the idea and are now exploring this concept further including determining possible locations, a budget and design.

View engagement report


Stage 2 - Community Involvement

We know from Stage 1 that 92% of community respondents support the idea of a fenced dog play park, and we asked for your help to determine the best location from a shortlist of suitable options. We asked the community to share their preferred location via an online survey from the list the shortlisted locations on the map below.

We heard from 564 community members, with 73% agreeing with Piney Lakes as a location for a fenced dog play park and over half of respondents ranking it as one of their top three most preferred locations. Feedback showing support for the idea of a fenced dog play park and the preferred location will now be presented to Council. If it is supported by Council, a business case will then be presented to Council to consider the approval of funding


What will happen with the information shared by the community?

The information will be given to council to determine if there is in-prinicple support for this type of facility and determine suitable locations, design and budget.

Community engagement

During the month of October, we invited the community to view the draft Concept and provide formal comments. We received 107 submissions.

  • 104 City residents
    • 44 reside in Winthrop
    • 3 reside outside of LGA
  • 81 informed us they were dog owners
  • 18 participated in previous engagement activities
  • 50.46% supported the draft concept, with 35% selecting support with concerns
  • 44.85% did not support the draft
  • 4.67% did not share their level of support

Read the submission report and engagement snapshot for more details.

View submission report

View engagement snapshot

Find out more

  • Read the additional FAQs or documents listed below
  • View the timeline
  • Follow this engagement to stay updated with project milestones, outcomes and opportunities for your to contribute to this project.


What is a fenced dog play park?

A fenced dog play park is an enclosed off leash dog exercise area for recreational purposes which is smaller than a standard soccer field (approximately 65m x 100m in size). It would cost approximately $158k depending on the location and its existing facilities e.g. water supply. It would include dog agility or exercise equipment for dogs of all sizes.

Dogs would be permitted to run free provided they:

  • Are under effective control (this means the dog will come back when called at all times)
  • Are accompanied by someone who is capable of controlling the dog
  • Do not attack other dogs, people or wildlife
  • Are close to their owner so that the leash can be quickly attached if they become aggressive
Can I leave my dog unsupervised in a fenced dog play park?

No. You must ensure you remain at the location and supervise your dog at all times.

Does my dog have to be on a lead?

Until your dog is in an area that is designated as off lead, including a fenced dog play park, it must remain on lead. This includes walking through an on lead area to the fenced dog play park. You are also required to have your leash with you at all times and it must be under effective control (this means the dog will come back when called at all times).

What facilities will be included in a fenced dog play park?

Typically fenced dog play parks include water fountains, agility equipment, shade and bins. The detail design will be finalised once the final location is chosen.

Will a fenced dog exercise area have lighting?

It is unlikely that the fenced dog will be fully lit, however security, aesthetic or access path lighting may be included depending on the final location chosen.

Will the facility include separate areas for large and small sized dogs?

This will be determined after engagement with the community.

Can I bring other animals into the area?

No. Only dogs are allowed into the fenced dog play park.

Can my dog be on lead in the fenced dog play park?

While your dog can be on lead in the fenced dog play park other dogs off lead may approach your dog. All leads will be required to be compliant with the Dog Act 1976 and Dog Regulations 2013 ensuring that it is a maximum length of 2 metres.

Where can I exercise my dog in the City of Melville? How is this engagement different to the 2019 Fenced Dog Exercise Area engagement?

At the time all 173 parks and reserves within the City of Melville were assessed and the following was considered:

  • Any activities that may take place within the reserve
  • Proximity to schools and / or residential areas
  • Adequate parking facilities
  • The classification of the reserve in relation to whether dogs are permitted, restricted or prohibited
  • Facilities / Events held at the reserve ie: BBQs and playgrounds
  • Size of the reserve

After considering the above for all reserves, the following was noted (some reserves fell into more than one category):

  • 30 reserves have BBQ / picnic facilities
  • 124 reserves have childrens playgrounds
  • 44 reserves regularly hold sporting events
  • 35 reserves are either dog prohibited and / or restricted

It was determined that 172 of these locations were unsuitable for a large fenced dog exercise area and leaving Attadale Reserve as the only option. The Dog Exercise Area engagement in 2019 was therefore focused around the existing off-lead dog exercise area at Attadale Reserve on Burke Drive.

Since 2019 the City has completed further research into dog exercise areas and identified a number of dog play parks which are considerably smaller than previously suggested. By proposing a smaller dog play park other locations can be looked at that are further away from residential homes and will have less impact on residents. 

Is there funding for this type of facility?

No funding is currently available for this type of facility. Feedback from the community will be presented to Council if there is in-principle support for this type of facility to determine suitable locations, design and budget.


  • 10-24 August 2020
  • Community survey open
    Asking the community if they support one or more fully fenced dog play parks
  • 27 August 2020
  • Engagement results published
  • 9-26 October 2020
  • Locations survey open
  • 22 September 2020
  • Report presented at Elected Members Information Session
  • January 2021
  • Ordinary Meeting of Council
    The Council has endorsed Piney Lakes as the preferred location for a Fenced Dog Play Park
  • 14-29 October 2021
  • Public comment period
    Community are invited to view the draft and provide comment
  • October 2021
  • Ordinary Meeting of Council
    Community petition received
  • December 2021
  • Ordinary Meeting of Council
    Council resolved to endorse the concept design

Contact us

If you require any further information, please contact the below.

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NameJeff Bird, Manager Natural Areas and Parks
Phone08 9364 0666


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