A draft dog Off-Leash policy has been approved for public exhibition and community consultation.

The new policy has been drafted following a review of dog Off-Leash Areas (OLA) within Monash and after considering the benefits and challenges of having off-leash areas.

The changes to off-leash areas under the draft policy are being trialled during the consultation period, with signs in each area indicating the changed conditions.

The policy will be finalised following community feedback on the draft policy and trials of the proposed new and changed off-leash areas.

About the off-leash areas review and draft policy

The Draft Off-Leash Policy has been informed by industry best practice and OLA key design principles. There are many considerations that need to be taken into account in-regards to the provision of off-leash and potential fenced off-leash areas and these have been noted in the draft policy.

The main implications of implementing the policy

  • 1. Specialised Sports Surfaces – Dog free zones

    Dogs are currently allowed off-leash on some sportsgrounds and will continue to be allowed off-leash on some sportsgrounds such as designated B and C grade grounds.

    Under the policy, specialised sport surfaces such as premier A grade sportsgrounds and synthetic sports surfaces, will all become dog free e.g. Jack Edwards & Gardiners Reserves NPL match (turf) pitches and synthetic pitches, Ashwood Reserve synthetic hockey pitch, Central Reserve and Warrawee Park ovals.

  • 2. Conservation Reserves – On-leash Areas

    To protect high levels of biodiversity, Council designated conservation reserves are to be reclassified as dog on-lead areas in areas where provision standards are predominately met (i.e. aspire to provide an OLA within 800m of 95% of residential dwellings) e.g. Damper Creek Conservation Reserve and Mulgrave Reserve Wetlands.

  • 3. Major Shared Trails - On-leash Areas

    Transport Victoria has identified several primary and main Strategic Cycling Corridor (SCC) routes or major shared trails run through Monash.

    These trails are heavily utilised by commuter cyclists, recreational cyclists, joggers and walkers. To minimise conflicts of use between dogs and trail users and to encourage cycling for transport it is recommended dogs be on-leash 10m either side of a major shared trail along creek corridors at Ashwood, Napier Park, Caloola and Gardiners Reserves.

About dedicated fenced off-leash areas

Council had considered as part of its review whether to create fully fenced off-leash areas exclusively for dogs. After consulting with experts, we determined that (at this point in time) providing dedicated off-leash areas for dogs is not the preferred model as most activities undertaken in these spaces can be just as easily be undertaken in off-leash areas without the issues associated with the management and maintenance of exclusive dog-off leash areas.

Please refer to the draft policy's adopted design principles (attachment B) and the Planning, Design and Management of Off-Leash Areas Technical Manual for more information on fenced off-leash areas. Your feedback on fenced OLAs is welcome as part of the consultation survey below.

Proposed off-leash areas

Using the draft policy as a framework, the Off-Leash Area Review proposes changes to some of the 31 existing off-leash areas, and identifies some proposed new off-leash areas.

The map below shows the resulting 45 existing, proposed and changed off-leash areas. Please refer to the review document and maps in the document library for information on each existing and proposed off-leash area in Monash.

New and revised sites seeking your feedback

The 22 coloured hotspots highlight the sites on which we are seeking your feedback. Click on a hotspot for more information.

  • 14 new potential off-leash areas (brown symbols)
  • 4 expanded areas (black symbols)
  • 4 reduced and 1 removed area (red symbols)

How to provide feedback

To provide feedback on the draft policy or an individual location, please register or login to Shape Monash, Council's online community engagement platform first, and answer the questions below.

You do not need to provide your name to register - just a username.