atw: Re: How to Have a Rational Discussion

  • From: "Christine Kent" <cmkentau@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 13:04:31 +1000

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


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 there.

-          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.




From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kath Bowman
Sent: Friday, 29 April 2011 12:26 PM
To: '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.






From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Robert Levy
Sent: Friday, 29 April 2011 11:06 AM
To: 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


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.





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