From Tony Howard
The ACT government is consulting the public on dog off-leash
areas. One area of contention is the Dickson wetlands. At the
two-hour consultation at the wetlands on Thursday the off-leash
network organised a large number of attendees. They see the
wetland purely as a dog-running and dog-swimming area. I think I
was the only person there who thought otherwise.
There is no question that dogs off-leash cause a lot of
disturbance to wildlife. Usually birds can cope, by flying away
from or by out-swimming a chasing dog, although small ducklings
may be vulnerable. I know of two ducks being killed by dogs, and
a third that was injured and put down by the RSPCA.
Disturbance by off-leash dogs is also likely to deter attempts
For those going to the wetland to observe the wildlife, its
constant disturbance by off-leash dogs, whether running or
swimming, is a great annoyance.
The wetland is a significant area for birds, with many resident,
some frequent as visitors, and occasional records of quite
unusual species, such as Australian Spotted Crake, Baillon's
Crake, and Plumed Whistling-Duck.
I'd encourage people on the chat-line to make an e-mail
with something like "Dogs and Dickson wetlands" in the subject
line. Just say you think dogs should be on-leash at the
wetlands; if you have time to add more then please do so.
Submissions close at 5pm, Friday August 1.
There's further information at