Dog walkers in the dark

Don Jackson Dog Park. 225883_01

By Shelby Brooks

Don Jackson Dog Park will remain in the dark after a petition for lighting was turned down by Cardinia Council.

A petition signed by 107 dog owners urged the council to install solar lighting within the Ahern Road reserve to provide additional safety measures for people who wanted to exercise their dogs between 5.30pm and 7.30pm in winter months.

Cr Carol Ryan said in the meeting 19 July there was a “misconception” that lighting made spaces safer.

“Some of the concerns of the petitions are about women and safety but lighting doesn’t actually promise it will be safer for women,” she said.

“I also have to consider the rest of residents that live on the back of the reserve and some of the concerns with dogs barking.

“It could become a space for people to hang around of a night-time at that don’t need to be there.”

Cr Stephanie Davies was the only councillor who disagreed.

“I would like to see lights there,” she said.

“I love the idea of the park being lit. I’m not suggesting it be on at midnight or 4am but I think it’s a good idea to extend the use in the cold long winter hours.”

Council officers did not believe it was financially viable for lighting to be installed for approximately two hours per night, six months of the year at a cost of approximately $50k plus ongoing maintenance costs.