atw: Re: How to Have a Rational Discussion

  • From: Kath Bowman <Kath.Bowman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'" <austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2011 11:17:51 +0930

Hi Bob,
The ovals in our area are available, but that would quickly change if the dog 
owners did not pick up after their dogs. In a sense, they are on notice. 
Perhaps too the population density is not too bad where I live, which helps. 
But we have several parks around where dogs off leash are permitted.  I am just 
concerned that the local 'dog lobby' has targetted a beautiful lake and 
bushland park that was saved with a lot of hard work by a Friends group, weeded 
and revegetated where needed, and trails made to keep people from trampling the 
bush. They are allowed to walk their dogs on leash but they are trying very 
hard to be allowed to have them off leash. Trouble is, it is very hard to keep 
a happy Labrador from leaping in the lake and chasing the water birds, or 
simply bumping people as they run past.

From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bob Trussler
Sent: Tuesday, 28 June 2011 10:59 AM
To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: atw: Re: How to Have a Rational Discussion

"In addition, all the ovals are available when not being used for sport. "

This is worrying.  The ovals in my area are strictly off limits to dogs as the 
sport players don't want to fall into dog poo.
Some of the rugby grounds are fenced off, I assume for the same reason.

Bob T

On 29 April 2011 13:23, Kath Bowman 
<Kath.Bowman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:Kath.Bowman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
Hi Christine,
what you say about dogs is true but our local council has designated several 
suitable parks as off-leash, and provided a large fenced park as well. It also 
has a smaller fenced area for puppy training and small dogs. In addition, all 
the ovals are available when not being used for sport. The trouble is that the 
park (with a lake and bushland) is very attractive, and the dog lobby covet it 
because of that.
PS I have a couple of dogs, so know all the good local places to take dogs. 
Only one of them is too steep for me to use.

 On Behalf Of Christine Kent
Sent: Friday, 29 April 2011 12:35 PM

To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: atw: Re: How to Have a Rational Discussion

Now this is a great example of either/or thinking rather than shades of grey. 
The way to solve the problem is to understand where the dog walkers are REALLY 
coming from rather than where they say they are coming from, and so take the 
argument away from this bit of bushland to somewhere else altogether.

Dog walking must be the most underfunded recreation in Australia.  Dog 
owners/walkers have become public enemy number 1, and they (WE ) lack a voice 
because we are mostly old and mostly female.  The end result of this is that we 
have nowhere left to "run" our dogs off leash.

The places left where we can run them include:

-          Places so isolated or dangerous no woman in her right mind would go 

-          Places so sufficiently isolated and unpoliced that the men with 
their killer dogs go there, so we dare not take our dogs there.

-          Places so ugly or polluted that no human being in their right minds 
would want to go there.

-          Places so treacherous in terms of steepness or blackberryness that 
they are impossible for older people or older dogs to access.

This is not true of all councils.  The Gold Coast City Council has some good 
off-leash dog walking parks, very suitable for old dogs and older walkers, and 
have even designated small dog parks and large dog parks.  There are also some 
good parks scattered across Melbourne, but for example, the Shire that covers 
the Dandenong Ranges has made sure that the task of walking dogs is a nightmare 
rather than a recreation or a pleasure. When I was living there I resorted to 
walking when the ranger was most likely tucked up I bed, and broke the 
regulations on a daily basis, because I was left with no choice - at that stage 
I had a young fit dog that had to be "run".

That said, I don't want arguments about this, or whether dog walking is a 
legitimate recreation.  I am saying it to give you and insight into dog 
walker's real issues, and they DO have them.  You can win your battle to save 
your little bit of paradise if you address their real issues rather than their 
stated issues.  Make sure your shire provides good parks and tracks for dog 
walkers and the issue will go away.

A rational discussion entails more than for and against a proposition; it 
entails respecting all needs and finding solutions.


 On Behalf Of Kath Bowman
Sent: Friday, 29 April 2011 12:26 PM
To: 'austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>'
Subject: atw: Re: How to Have a Rational Discussion

I am engaged in one of those frustrating debates right now. It has an 
interesting twist. I am in a group that has been looking after a park since 
1995(weeding, revegetating, laying paths and boardwalks to keep people out of 
the native bush etc). In recent years, a 'dog lobby' has been muscling in and 
demanding to be alowed to use it as a 'dogs off leash' park. (The dogs are 
alowed to walk in the park on leash.) They don't want to use the other parks 
available to them because "they are full of weeds".

One of their latest ploys is to argue that the park has "no environmental 
merit" and the many reports over several years that state otherwise can be 
discounted because "they were written by environmental experts and of course 
they would be biased". It is a curious turn when something can be discounted 
precisely because it is stated by an expert in that field!

I'll battle on, for the sake of the bandicoots, echidnas, kangaroos and the 
amazing little Yellow Footed Antechinus - the males shag themselves to death in 
their first year.


 On Behalf Of Robert Levy
Sent: Friday, 29 April 2011 11:06 AM
To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: atw: Re: How to Have a Rational Discussion
Though, having said that, I certainly do appreciate the sentiment. How many 
arguments go around in circles because of the failure of one person to follow 
most of those guidelines? Those conversations are pointless and frustrating.

I especially find it frustrating when someone brings up talking points that 
they KNOW aren't valid, but they hope that you don't know they aren't. They 
want to score a point or two, and don't care how. That mainly happens in 
political discussions. Harumph.


Bob Trussler
Phone  0418 661 462

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