Margaret River council threatens dog park shutdowns as ‘high-density’ poo zones identified

It is known for its beautiful beaches and surrounding forests, but there is something on the nose in Margaret River.

The council has issued a stern warning for dog owners who leave their pooch’s poo on a public ovals — pick it up or take the pets elsewhere.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has identified Nippers Oval, near the Margaret River town centre, and two spots in Prevelly as “high-density dog poo” areas.

The designations were issued after councillors agreed to keep Nippers Oval open to dog owners in October last year on the six-month proviso that the poo was picked up.

Ranger services coordinator Narelle Graue said that had not been happening.

“Although these areas have been listed as dog exercise areas, they are subject to change if people continue to do the wrong thing,” she said.

“If you’re a dog owner, please make sure you pick up your dog’s poo.”

“And if you’re someone who shares these recreational spaces and you see others not doing the right thing, politely ask them to pick up after their dog.”

Rangers warned if they receive more than one complaint a fortnight about poo on Nippers oval, the area would be shut to dogs.

Dog poo sitting amongst on grass near a football post.
Nippers Oval has been declared a “high-density” dog poo area.(ABC South West: Sam Bold)

‘Can’t be bothered’

Dog trainer Lesley Bremner said the situation had been coming to head for some time.

“Margaret River’s population has increased and  [the new residents] don’t know how the town works and can’t be bothered doing the right thing,” she said.

“They don’t realise the importance of keeping that particular exercise area.

“It’s close to town, it’s a good size … but they don’t realise it’s very, very close to being shut down.

“If people don’t do the right thing very, very soon they’re going to lose it.

“It has been close to being shut down for some time now.”

A poo bag dispenser bolted to a pole supporting a fence.
Augusta Margaret River Shire supplies poo bags at many of its parks and ovals.(ABC South West: Sam Bold)

‘Personal ownership’

Andrew Wynne’s business supplies dog poo bags and dispensers to about 70 local governments in Western Australia, including Margaret River.

He said a lack of poo bags at parks and ovals was not the problem.

“I think you’ve got to cut the shire a bit of slack, they all do their best,” Mr Wynne said.

“It’s the responsibility of the owners.

“It doesn’t matter how much the shire does — it’s up to the ratepayers to take some personal ownership.”

The councils warned that Nippers Oval was under CCTV surveillance and individuals who continue to act irresponsibly will be fined.