I delivered the Freedom for Fleurieu Dogs petition to the District Council of Yankalilla today; in the end it attracted over 1,000 signatures, not only from locals, but from people all over the world.
Will the Council take any notice? The track record for the short term is not good. It ignored another, traditional, petition to the same effect last month, which was signed by over 1,000 locals. And when a proposal to ease the restrictions was moved at the last Council meeting, it was voted down. And, demonstrating the sort of mean-mindedness that is prevalent among dog-haters, they also voted down an acknowledgement of the efforts of those who had consulted with the community on the issue.
A number of locals have come to the view that the way to fix this is to get the errant Councillors voted out of office in the elections due later in the year. A new Council will simply be able to repeal the offending by-law. These locals may well be right. The Councillors get elected with tiny numbers of votes cast, and this issue seems to be by far the most important in the minds of the local electorate. The total numbers of petitions in the two petitions is some 40% of the electorate (although of course there are bound to be a few duplicates, and some petitioners live outside the area), and so one would have thought that the prospects for getting a dog-friendly Council elected would be quite good. It is quite extraordinary that the present Council should be insisting on these dog restrictions when they know full well that they run counter to the strong feelings of the great majority of ratepayers, particularly since the restrictions are causing real damage to the health of residents, our dogs and to the local economy.
The petition went in with a covering letter which read:
Please find herewith a hard copy of the on-line petition Freedom For Fleurieu Dogs.
As you will see, this has been signed by over 1,000 people, both locals and those from further afield, who seek a rolling back of the recent laws restricting the exercise of dogs.
As such, this on-line petition compliments last month’s petition of locals, which also attracted over 1,000 signatures.
It is a regrettable reflection of these new laws that they are offensive, not only to locals, but also to friends from all around the world.
There is a long way to go in this saga…