You must meet the following conditions to use a designated off-leash area where you can take off a dog's chain, cord or leash:
- As the owner, you must carry a chain, cord or leash which you can use to control your dog. You must use this to control your dog if your dog's behaviour threatens any animal or person.
- As the owner, you must be able to control your dog by voice or hand so you can put on their chain, cord or leash if needed.
- As the owner, you must not allow your dog to attack, rush at or threaten any person or animal.
- You must carry bags for removing dog waste when you take your dog to any public place. You must dispose of these bags into a rubbish bin. We do not supply plastic bags for the removal of dog waste in Merri-bek off-leash areas.
If you can't control your dog in these situations, then you cannot take your dog off it's lead, even in an off-leash area. You can teach your dog to obey your voice or hand control by practicing in a private enclosed area. You can also find dog obedience clubs on Infoxchange Service Seeker's community directory.
Designated off-leash area: a park, reserve or place where Council has made an order to change the space to an off-leash area for dogs. For more information go to Section 26(2) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Owner: you can find the definition in the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Public place: you can find the definition in section 3 of the Summary Offences Act 1966.
You must be able to control your dog at all times using a chain, cord or leash if your dog is within 1m of a shared pathway. You must also be able to control your dog at all times using a chain, cord or leash if your dog is on a shared pathway. You can find the definition of shared pathway in road rule 242 of the Road Rules – Victoria.
As a dog owner, you must also be able to control your dog at all times using a chain, cord or leash if your dog is within 15m of:
- any playground or children’s play equipment
- the main location of an organised sport activity or community event/festival
- the main location of an organised public meeting
- a permanent barbecue or picnic area (when in use)
Dogs are not allowed to enter within a playground, creek or waterway at any time.
We will consider changing a park's leash status if you provide a petition with at least 5 signatures. The Domestic Animals Act 1994 has information on this process.
Once we receive a petition and a Council resolution is passed, Council will adopt a resolution to enter into public consultation. Details on this process are under Section 223 of the Local Government Act 2020.
The consultation process includes:
- Council officers reviewing the proposal
- A letter and survey seeking feedback from residents living near the park
- Information about the proposal published on the Council website
Council order for Dogs off-leash areas
By order of a resolution, we may add or remove places from this list of designated off-leash areas.
- Abrahams Reserve: 50-72 Harrison Street, Brunswick East
- Balfe Park: 54-64 John Street, Brunswick East
- Fleming Park: 47-51 Albert Street, Brunswick East
- Jones Park: 9-23 Albion Street, Brunswick East
- Kirkdale Park: 31 Kirkdale Street, Brunswick East
- Methven Park: 7 Methven Street, Brunswick East
- Phillips Reserve: 2-10 Weigall Street, Brunswick East
- Roberts Reserve: 50-72 Harrison Street, Brunswick East
- Sumner Park: 3 Alister Street, Brunswick East
- Brady Reserve: 229 Hope Street, Brunswick West
- Dunstan Reserve: 24 Peacock Street, Brunswick West
- Fraser Reserve: 16-24 Hopetoun Avenue, Brunswick West
- Holbrook Reserve: 8 Jewell Crescent, Brunswick West
- Sheils Reserve: 306 Hope Street, Brunswick West
- Wylie Reserve: 256-264 Union Street, Brunswick West
- Anderson Reserve: 44-46 Linda Street, Coburg
- Bowden Reserve: 182A Nicholson Street, Coburg
- Bridges Reserve (excluding City Oval): Bell Street, Coburg
- Bush Reserve: 15 Bellevue Street, Coburg
- Campbell Reserve: 11-49 Moreland Road, Coburg
- DeChene Reserve: 193 Urquhart Street, Coburg
- Egan Reserve: 145 Rennie Street, Coburg
- McDonald Reserve: 66 Bell Street, Coburg
- Cash Reserve: 47 Livingstone Street, Coburg North
- Hosken Reserve: 39A Shorts Road, Coburg North
- Jackson Reserve: 1 Outlook Road (near Edgars Creek), Coburg North
- Parker Reserve: Mathieson Street, Coburg North
- Richards Reserve: 30-34 Charles Street, Coburg North (enclosed dog park)
- Charles Mutton Reserve: 86 Lorne Street, Fawkner
- Moomba Park: 26A Somerlayton Crescent, Fawkner
- Gervase Avenue Reserve: 82 Pecham Street, Glenroy
- Fran Street Park: Fran Street, Glenroy
- Kingsford Smith Ulm Reserve: 81A Loongana Avenue, Glenroy
- Sewell Reserve: 33 Glenroy Road, Glenroy
- Wallace Reserve: 123 Justin Avenue, Glenroy
- Austin Crescent Reserve: 22 Austin Crescent, Pascoe Vale
- Cole Reserve: 177B Cumberland Road, Pascoe Vale
- Esslemont Reserve: 1 Somerset Street, Pascoe Vale
- Hallam Reserve: 144 Landells Road, Pascoe Vale
- K W Joyce Reserve: 31-37 Cornwall Road, Pascoe Vale
- Raeburn Reserve: 8-42 Landells Road, Pascoe Vale
- Brearly Reserve: 1-25 Heliopolis Street, Pascoe Vale South
- Morris Reserve: 11 Brentwood Avenue, Pascoe Vale South
- Shore Reserve: 20 Woodlands Avenue, Pascoe Vale South
Walking and bike trails
Moreland has many trails for walkers and cyclists that link to our parks across our suburbs.
The two main shared trails in Merri-bek are the Moonee Ponds Creek Trail and Merri Creek Trail. Both of these trails meet up with the Capital City Trail. These trails also link to some of the other major walking and bike trails across Melbourne.
The Merri Creek Trail starts at Dights Falls near where the Merri Creek and Yarra River meet. The trail follows the creek, with most of the trail alongside the creek. It also passes Coburg Lake Reserve, the Brunswick Velodrome and CERES.
Length and connections: The Merri Creek Trail is 21 km long. The path joins the Western Ring Road Trail in the north. In the south it meets the Yarra River Trail and the Capital City Trail.
Public transport: The trail goes past Clifton Hill and Rushall stations. It also goes near tram stops on St Georges Road, Nicholson Street and Sydney Road.
The Moonee Ponds Creek Trail starts in Docklands on Footscray Road. It follows the creek under the Tullamarine Freeway and through some parks. The trail continues along the fence line of the Woodlands Historic Park next to the Melbourne Airport.
Length and connections: The Moonee Ponds Creek Trail is 25 km long. It meets the Broadmeadows Valley Trail and the Western Ring Road Trail in the north. It meets the Capital City Trail in the south.
Public transport: The path goes past Jacana, Pascoe Vale and Flemington Bridge stations.
The Capital City Trail is a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians. It circles the city centre and some of the inner eastern and northern suburbs of Melbourne.
The trail uses the same path as the Main Yarra Trail up to Dights Falls. It then continues using the same path as the Merri Creek Trail as part of its loop around the city.
Length and connections: It is 29 kilometres in length. The trail consists of sections of other trails, such as the Merri Creek Trail, Main Yarra Trail, Moonee Ponds Creek Trail and Inner Circle Rail Trail.
Public transport: The path goes past many stations including Finders Street, North Melbourne, Macaulay, Flemington Bridge, Royal Park, Rushall, Victoria Park, Collingwood, Heyington (Toorak), Burnley and Richmond.
Guides and maps
- Recommended bike trails and routes in Merri-bek map (PDF 6Mb): a map of key routes across Merri-bek
- Merri Creek Trail Map: map including trail details and public transport
- National Public Toilet Map: map with hours, accessibility, and other details
There are over 100 parks in Merri-bek, and each park has different features for outdoor play.
Our playgrounds meet Australian safety standards. To make sure of this, a certified independent authority visits our playgrounds twice a year. Many playgrounds are also checked monthly by our staff.
To find out about planned changes to playgrounds, visit Conversations Merri-bek. .
After we build any new playground an independent auditor checks whether it is safe. If it passes their assessment it is then opened to the public.
In the Merri-bek Play Strategy we refer to our large 'access for all' play spaces as 'district' play spaces.
We have designed these parks to cater for a wide range of local residents. They can also draw in people from the surrounding areas and outside Merri-bek. Our 'district' play spaces are often custom designed and provide a wide variety of play.
Parks with district playgrounds
- Jones Park
- Bush Reserve
- Harmony Park
- CB Smith Reserve
Pascoe Vale South
- Brearley Reserve
- Shore Reserve
Knowing where public toilets are can make your day a lot easier. To find out which parks in Merri-bek have public toilets, use our 'Find a park' tool to look for parks with a public toilet.
We also recommend using the National Public Toilet Map website. This site shows you nearby public toilets in parks and public spaces. It also tells you when the toilets are open, if they are accessible, and if they have features like change tables. We provide this information about Council-managed public toilets to the website.
We manage public toilets across Merri-bek, including in our parks and shopping areas.
We clean our public toilets at least twice a week. We clean toilets which are in high-traffic locations more often, up to once a day. A sign on the public toilet building provides the date and time when toilets were last cleaned. We also manages Exceloo public toilets which self-clean.
We build new and replace existing public toilets as part of our annual capital works program.
In Appendix D of the Merri-bek public toilet strategy you can find a list of:
- priority locations for new public toilet facilities
- refurbishing projects for existing public toilets
These projects will take place over the next 7 years. This appendix also outlines the criteria Council uses to prioritise projects.
We have a few different skate parks in Merri-bek. Our skate parks have features to suit beginners through to advanced skaters. You can find a skate park by looking at our Find a Park tool, and selecting the filter 'skate parks'.
The Brunswick Skate and BMX Park features a clover style bowl with depths of 1.2m, 2.5m and 3.3m. It aims to challenge a range of skating abilities. The park also has a small street section with ramps, fun box, euro gap, grind rails and two quarter pipes.
We designed this skate park after talking to the local skate community about what they wanted to see in a skate park.
Location: 5A Elms Court, Gowanbrae
Location: 187-195 Gaffney Street, Coburg
This skate park is a plaza-type street course with plenty of ledges, stairs and rails. It's popular kidney bowl features an 8ft deep-end and 5ft shallow end. The mini ramp extension creates a great skate park for all to enjoy. Harmony Park also has free wireless internet.
Location: CB Smith Reserve, Jukes Road, Fawkner
The entry to the CB Smith skate park has features for skaters on the way to the central area. The central area has two volcanoes of different sizes. It also has a pole jam, which is a feature that can give skaters a new challenge to conquer.
We extended the skate park in 2013 to add new elements and increase the challenges.
Glenroy Skate park is a large and new skate space that replaced the old driving range. This skate park opened in early 2018. It features a peanut shaped bowl with a pool, and heaps of banks, ledges, rails, boxes and quarters. Next to the skate park is also a looping pump track.
Nearby to the skate park there is a ping pong table, a climbing wall, walking paths, extra seating, and a car park.
Open Space Temporary Occupation permit (OSTOP)
Occupation of Council open space is only permitted with an Open Space Temporary Occupation permit, or if occupation is less than 24 hours with prior notification to Council.
If you will be occupying Council open space for 24 hours or longer
You must apply for an Open Space Temporary Occupation permit from Council.
This permit is required to ensure public safety and the proper placement and storage of material and equipment in these spaces, including building materials.
Works must also not impact on the health of neighbouring trees (described in the Australian Standard AS4970 – Protection of trees on development sites), garden beds, grassed areas and Council open space.
At least 1.2 metres of footpath width must be kept clear for pedestrians and the area occupied must be securely barricaded for public safety. This width may be reduced to 1 metre depending on the circumstances.
An Open Space Temporary Occupation permit application incurs a fee of $6.40 per square metre per week (2022/2023). This fee is reviewed each financial year.
The permit fee depends on the scope of works, the duration of the works and the area of Council land required.
Please contact Council on 9240 1111 for more information about fees.
Some information that may be required as part of your application for an Open Space Temporary Occupation permit include:
- Public liability insurance for at least $10 million
- Arborist inspection report according to AS4970 (where trees are affected)
- Drawings or plans showing:
- the actual conditions of the site and the proposed protection measures to prevent damage to open space
- how pedestrian access will be maintained
- location of street furniture, such as street benches, signs and power poles (if any)
- location of public transport stops, such as tram stop or bus stop, and
- scope of the work.
Information about the proposed works must be provided to the satisfaction of Council.
Please provide 5 business days notice, if you require an Open Space Temporary Occupation permit.
If you advise Council on an Asset Protection Permit form that you need to occupy a park or reserve next to the building site, Council will inspect the site and determine the cost of occupying the park or reserve. Council then issues you an invoice for the permit fee and a permit once payment is received.
Once your application has been received, Council's Open Space Maintenance unit will review the application. You will be advised if your application has been successful.
An invoice will be generated for payment. Upon receipt of payment, an Open Space Temporary Occupation permit will be issued.
You may not occupy Council open space until Council issues you a permit.
This permit must be produced onsite, for verification by Council Officers.
When you have completed your works, contact Council to arrange a final inspection of Council assets.
If damage has occurred to Council assets and it is deemed the damage is associated with your building activity, the extent of damage is detailed and you are notified in writing.
Council will ask that you either arrange for the repairs independently or agree to Council contractors carrying out the repairs. If you choose Council contractors to do the work, an invoice will be sent for the repair costs. This needs to be paid before Council issues a Letter of Clearance or starts repair works.
Weed management is a key part of protecting biodiversity and encouraging indigenous flora and fauna. This is especially important along creeks and waterways, as well as in parks, garden beds, sports fields, streets and laneways.