In August 2015 Eurobodalla Shire Council declared NATA Oval, Narooma, a 24-hour off-leash dog area. Dogs still needed to be kept under control. More recently there have been moves to separate big dogs from small. Council were advised that creating a land based off-leash area such as the one at NATA Oval increased opportunities for animal socialising and gave alternates to a beach environment for exercise of both dogs and owners. Beaches are not always suitable for the less abled owners of dogs and the open environment of a beach gave owners a greater difficulty in retrieving their dogs when it was time to go home.
Narooma lobbied and won the day but now many in the north of the Shire are asking “What about a similar area for Batemans Bay where there are fewer beaches and more dogs?” Council has recently set in place the summer times for “off-the-leash” areas being 5pm to 9am from November through to April. During the cooler months, between May to October, selected beaches are off leash 24 hours a day.
The change in times of the time share arrangement during the busy summer months ensures that dogs can still have access to their off-leash time in the morning and evening whilst allowing beach-goers a dog-free environment between 9am and 5pm.
There are new rumbles from many in the community who are now questioning the five month period from November to April saying it is far TOO long. These community members will soon be seeking justification from Council of what they consider is an excessive time span. There are also continued rumbles from dog owners in Batemans Bay and surrounds who prefer not to go to the beach with their dogs and would prefer to have the type of safe, non-beach, readily accessible facility such as the one now enjoyed by Narooma. Council’s Companion Animal Plan presently advises that dogs cannot use a park or oval which rules out most of the reserves and ovals of Batemans Bay and its surrounds. A petition in support of a Batemans Bay dog park has recently been presented to the Eurobodalla Shire Council along with a suggestion that a Dog Park be considered for the Batemans Bay Bowling Club precinct. The Batemans Bay Dog Park Supporters are hoping to encourage the Eurobodalla Shire Council to recognise the need for an alternate space that allows pet dogs and their owners a safe place to socialise, exercise and train their dogs. Although the Companion Animal Management Plan has recently been reviewed such a plan is only a reflection of the day it was endorsed by Council so this fresh community move to see changes to off-leash times and to identify a new space in Batemans Bay is timely. Hopefully it will also encourage a conversation between Council and the wider community. If you would like to support the idea of a Batemans Bay Dog Park then you can visit and “Like” the Facebook group, Batemans Bay Dog Park Supporters.