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Dog confusion leads to arguments

DOG owners and other beach goers are clashing at Inverloch in the wake of confusion over new restrictions governing dogs on beaches.

Over the weekend, a dog walker was yelled at by a man after a dog barked at him while off the lead.

Another woman demanded they pick up the dog poo instead of putting it in the water, despite the dog owner walking towards the poo to collect it.

Bass Coast Shire Council has revoked last summer’s total dog ban and divided the beach into off leash, on leash and people only areas instead.

The new off leash areas are between Grandview Grove and Cuttriss Street and Wave Street and Ozone Street. The Abbott Street off leash area has been removed due to environmental issues and exposed rock.

Dogs are now only restricted from 9am to 6pm, from December 1 to February 28 and during the Easter holidays from the Broadbeach Access Track to Cuttriss Street, from Wreck Street to Wave Street and at Pensioners Point.

No dogs are permitted at any time in Screw Creek.

Mayor Cr Kimberley Brown said council had come to a final decision on dog controls on Inverloch beaches after considering all beach users’ needs during public consultations.

However, dog owners claim council’s compromise is too complex and fails to consider safety.

Locals were surprised council chose Grandview Grove and Cuttriss Street for a 24 hour off leash area. The area is safest for children to go swimming, is too shallow for boats and the pergola near the beach is a popular destination for families.

The people only beach also came as a shock to locals as a sign in the area indicates there are dangerous currents and discourages swimming.

Locals said they find the restrictions difficult to follow without proper signs along the beach.

The signs are too small for dog walkers to know where it is appropriate to walk their dog and because the signs are just stickers, they can easily be peeled off.

“Some of the signs contradict each other,” Inverloch resident Christine Finney said.

“If they (council) wanted to do something to make it as complicated as possible, they’ve done it.”

During public consultations, 90 per cent of people agreed dogs should be allowed on the beach at all times if they are on a lead.

“It wasn’t even in the recommendation and council spent $47,000 on consultants for four meetings just to ignore everything,” Ms Finney said.

Inverloch resident Margaret Satorio said it was unfortunate council had an extensive consultation process but did not listen to what the public was saying.

“It was a waste of time and money. We feel ignored,” she said.

Inverloch homeowner Hazel McNutt said dog owners could appreciate a restriction from the start of January to the end of February, but the final decision seemed illogical.

Inverloch visitor Sarah Finney could not make sense of the laws.

“How are visitors of the town supposed to know?” she said.

“It should be simple.”

Inverloch resident Jodie Dalmau said tourists had been grateful to the locals whom worked to put dogs back on the beach.

Council rangers will be on beaches to encourage good behaviour among dog owners.

Cr Brown said there would be an increased presence on beaches this summer and if beach goers were caught doing the wrong thing, they would be warned or fined.

“If you respect the rules, you’ll avoid a fine and make our beaches a happy and safe place for everyone,” she said.

 

 

Family values: from left, Jaya, Jett, Jim, Jodie and Jaras Dalmau are glad dogs are back on the beach so children walk with their dog.

Family values: from left, Jaya, Jett, Jim, Jodie and Jaras Dalmau are glad dogs are back on the beach so children walk with their dog.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=13172

Posted by on Dec 30 2014. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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