ACT News

Call for Canberra dog poop offensive after survey exposes health hazard

The ACT Government is being lobbied to help clean up doggie doo by installing "waste bag dispensers" for pooch owners in Canberra parks. 

In its ACT Budget submission the Belconnen Community Council said undisposed of dog excrement "presents health and environmental risks".

Belconnen Community Council chairwoman Tara Cheyne with her whippet, Cooper, at John Knight Memorial Park.
Belconnen Community Council chairwoman Tara Cheyne with her whippet, Cooper, at John Knight Memorial Park. Photo: Graham Tidy

"While many owners carry dog waste disposal bags on them and take the necessary responsibility for their dog's waste, a bag dispenser greatly assists if an owner has forgotten or run out while also ensuring there is no excuse for failing to pick up the waste," the submission said.

"Dog waste disposal bag dispensers have been successfully implemented throughout Australia."

The submission asked for one dispenser at Lake Ginninderra, but Belconnen Community Council chairwoman Tara Cheyne said there was the opportunity to  put them in across the territory. 

She said any dispensers installed would need to be vandal proof and be stocked with biodegradable plastic bags.

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They would need a locking mechanism to ensure bags could not be continuously pulled out by the same person. 

Like any items in public parks the dispensers also would need to be safe from thieves.  

Last October in Adelaide police were tracking a thief who stole a dog poop bag dispenser shaped like a labrador. 

A 2013 survey found only half of dog owners always collected their dog's excrement and men were the worst culprits.

The survey also found 9 per cent never picked up after their dog and a further 5 per cent would only collect the poop if someone was watching.

Eleven per cent of men admitted they never picked up their dog's poo. The figure was 7 per cent for women dog owners.

The Belconnen Community Council's budget submission said more bins for other general waste should be made available.

It also suggested a twice a year kerbside hard rubbish pick-up by the ACT Government, at least as a trial, to reduce the dumping of unwanted goods.

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