The Eurobodalla community can now view feedback provided to Eurobodalla Council as part of its dog exercise area review.
Council sought feedback in April on proposed changes to Eurobodalla dog exercise areas as part of a review of its Companion Animal Management Plan.
A summary of overall results, as well as fact sheets with more detail on each local beach/reserve, are now available on Council’s website.
The proposed timeshare on-leash arrangement was not supported overall, with a preference for timeshare off-leash. There were also several areas where residents opposed changes to arrangements at their local beach.
Respondents overwhelmingly believed dog poo bags should be provided by dog owners and the beach was by far the preferred dog exercise area. Responses further indicated interest in improved signage, more bins at beach entrances and for an increased ranger presence.
Council’s Divisional Manager Environmental Services Deb Lenson said Council was now working to develop a draft plan that better reflected the community’s views.
“The community’s response showed people are very passionate about their local beaches and an additional off-leash beach in the next suburb, for example, was inconsequential,” she said.
“The summary of survey results are one important part of the review, but we encourage interested people to view the fact sheets for a more detailed picture of community aspirations for their patch.
“The challenge for us is that we need to take a shire-wide approach that not only provides for dog owners, but also caters for people who don’t want to interact with dogs and meet environmental considerations. Overall we are trying to provide for all users of our beaches and reserves. It’s impossible to accommodate everybody at every location, so we need to find a balance.”
The Companion Animal Management Plan review involved 12 community drop-in sessions, an online survey that attracted 2,369 responses, and a further 153 letters and emails were received. Council has also worked on the review with a roundtable group comprising representatives from animal welfare groups, veterinarians, dog trainers, sporting clubs, surf lifesaving and National Parks and Batemans Marine Park since December 2017.
The project follows a resolution of Council earlier this year to bring forward the plan’s review, which normally occurs every four years.
A draft Companion Animal Management Plan will be presented to councillors in late July and the community will have another opportunity to comment when it goes on public exhibition later this year. To view the results visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au/pets and click on ‘dog exercise area review’.