TIM PALLAS (Werribee – Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Economic Growth) (09:40): I rise to celebrate the recent official opening of the new off-leash dog park on Levittown Rise in my electorate of Werribee. The new park is part of the government’s $5 million investment to deliver 14 new off-leash dog parks across the state. Recently I took the chance to drop by the park to make some furry friends. It is good to see so many locals, both two-legged and four, checking out the new park. It is already clearly a favourite place for many in Werribee.

A dog park is not just a place for our furry friends to run and play, it is a place where neighbours can meet, forge new friendships and strengthen the bonds of our community. Studies have shown that dog parks promote social inclusion, physical activity and mental wellbeing for both dogs and their owners. The park is made up of two fenced areas, one for the many friendly pups to play with each other and another for less social dogs, and has everything you need, with plenty of seating and water fountains for both humans and dogs.

I thank Minister Stitt in the other place for her commitment to providing dog-friendly parks across the state. My own dog Max cannot wait to go and spend some time there, as we take full advantage of the parks, both off-leash and on-leash, throughout Melbourne’s west, not to mention our growing pathways. Life is better with a walk with a furry friend.