Dog owners are calling on Georges River Council to install lighting in their local park, Moore Reserve at Hurstville Grove so they can walk their dogs after dark in winter.
The shorter winter days are forcing dog owners to make a choice - either take a risk and walk their dogs through the park in the dark, or keep them at home unexercised.
Dozens of dog owners exercise and socialise their dogs in Moore Reserve which has fenced and unfenced off-leash areas.
The unfenced area is available 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday, but with limited access on weekends and public holidays, from 8pm to 9am.
Community spokeswoman, Tania Katsanis said the majority of dog owners work and during the winter months are unable to use the unfenced leash-free area of the park during weekdays as it is dark.
“Some of us still brave the dark, and bring our dogs for their much-needed run, but others don’t feel safe. It is so dark, you can hardly see two feet ahead.”
Dog owner Fairlie Malcolm who uses Moore Reserve to exercise her Jack Russell, Lily said regular exercise is important for the physical and mental well-being of the dogs and the people, particularly in winter.
“Because of the short days, some people can’t get their dogs there. The dogs need to socialise and get exercised. The owners need to feel responsible about caring for their dogs.”
Last week Ms Katsanis addressed Georges River Council on the issue and proposed that two solar-powered lights be installed on the reserve.
Preliminary costing for the lights is about $7000 each. They would omit a 50W light which would not disturb nearby residents. Each light would cover an area of 80 to 100 metres.
“The objective is to cast enough light so that users can avoid tripping hazards, see their dogs in the distance, and feel safe,” she said.
Council officers were due to meet with residents at Moore Reserve this week to discuss their request for lights.