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Council called out on poor decision to allow North Broulee Off-Leash dogs to run amok

The Beagle Editor, As many in the Eurobodalla are aware Council has sought submissions for or against the proposed changes re "Dog Control". Local residents across the shire, mainly dog owners, presented themselves to drop in sessions and made submissions in regards to the newly imposed restrictions they saw. For dog owners the submissions and well presented opinions were heard and acted on by Council giving us what we now have as a report that reflects community consultation and feedback. Written between the lines there should be it reflects the LOUDEST community feedback and while it might present as being approved by everyone it most certainly is not to the silent majority who choose NOT to step out of line in the eyes of their neighbours and the “wider” community opinion. The report, presented to Council at its Ordinary Meeting on 31 July 2018 saw councillors endorse the collated material and place it on public exhibition for further community comment.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 4 September 2018.

My area of concern is North Broulee beach: In my opinion and in the opinion of many others I have spoken with who live in Broulee and the surrounding beach areas, there IS a section of the community that object to dogs having FREE REIGN on our beautiful pristine beaches which are frequented by people both locally and tourists alike. We often hear of attacks by mauling of dogs. I for one have seen off leash dogs well outside the control of their owners run up to children, chase joggers, urinate on swimmers towels, defecate wherever they choose, steal hats or picnic items and most unfortunately attack other dogs that have been on leads walked by elderly owners. And this has been on North Broulee Beach – the very one that Eurobodalla uses to showcase the #unspoilt south coast

Above: Photo used by Eurobodalla Tourism for promotion of North Broulee Beach - note how there are no offlead dogs

Those dog owners who are irresponsible have no respect for the current boundary that is set for On-Leash and Off Leash and there hasn't been a ranger seen policing this boundary in years. Off Leash dogs presently run free over the entire length of the beach. I believe it is a ridiculous plan that dogs can run free on this beautiful beach as it is so frequented by people of all ages and capacities, many of whom don't have dogs. Current status of North Broulee Beach: Off leash 24hr: North Broulee Beach from Smith St to National Park boundary.

Note: Dogs must be leashed until exercise area is reached.

On leash 24hr: Beach from Smith St to Train St.

Prohibited: Beach from Train St to around Candlagan Creek. The reality is that the entire beach is off leash because irresponsible dog owners ignore the signs.

Above: Current status of North Broulee Beach Below - Proposed new status of North Broulee Beach - the dogs Off Leash area fronts eight of the key access points for residents and holiday makers to access this family friendly beach only to encounter dogs off leashes and the hundreds of dog poos that are left behind every week.

Please note that North Broulee Beach is rated 148 BEST BEACH IN AUSTRALIA. Giving this magnificent beach to "dogs and dog owners" WILL affect tourism in this area. All TOURISM beaches should be "DOGS PROHIBITED AT ALL TIMES". We are attempting to encourage all year tourism so any consideration of making this seasonal should not be considered. Is this stance against OFF LEASH dogs on North Broulee being unfair to dog owners? Not in the least – the new proposal offers the Broulee area dog owners full access to the North Bengello beach that is perfectly suited for dogs as it is a notorious beach for swimming and as such does not attract families or tourists.

For the many who live in the Broulee village most choose to visit the beautiful North Broulee beach area in question almost on a daily basis and more so in the warmer months of course. It is flatter to walk, safer to swim, and accessible to the majority of the town by foot however with eight or more tracks and ample parking it is readily accessible to most of the town. This North Broulee beach area that is now being proposed as "dogs off leash exercise area" is used year round for swimming, surfing, kayaking and on the beach playing cricket and other beach games, building sandcastles, picnics, walking and all usual activities related to going to the beach. It does NOT need to include dogs in the mix and by including dogs, especially off-leash dogs is madness. Ours is an extended family that includes young grandchildren aged between 2 weeks old up to 8 years old. We are not the only family in the area that use this beach I can assure you. It is one of the safest and popular beaches in the area. The water is slightly calmer than South Broulee and the beach area to the north is suitable for surfing and there are two surf schools which operate from there. Again young people and people of all ages frequent that area which is still in the proposed "dogs off leash" area. It just doesn't make any sense mixing dogs with people at this beach.

Last Easter one of our daughters had to pick up her dear little three year old daughter as a very large and aggressive dog ran up to her and her little girl. The dog was way ahead of its owners off leash and was possibly attracted to the splashing in the water. It gave my daughter and her child a terrible fright. My daughter is a dog owner and would never consider allowing her dog to do this even though he is a very nice dog.

We have seen this type of event when dogs intimidate or harass people and children on many occasions during many years. The owners do not care generally and think "dogs rule" and also very rarely pick up the "poo" they leave behind. We have talked to a number of people in the area both friends and family and they all agree with us.

In all the years we have lived and worked in Broulee we have never seen a Ranger on the beach so how this decision is possibly being made is beyond us!

If the decision to change that area to "off leash" dog exercise area is implemented it will only be a matter of time before a child or a member of public will be bitten, bowled over in the water or affected some other way and the damage to that person's health and well-being could be irreversible. I choose not to have my name published as I know that I will receive abusive phone calls and be berated if met on the street. I beelieve that what Council have done is excellent in applying more controls to dogs in the shire however they need to listen also to the SILENT members of the community who choose not to speak out for fear of community backlash by the very vocal dog owners who think that having a dog on the beach running free is a joy for everyone and that it is endearing when their furbaby runs up to a stranger and leaps up to say hello, or mauls their child. Hopefully the Councillors are reading this and the tourism people and will reconsider what is a bad decision for Broulee, for tourism and for those who would like to walk North Broulee Beach without fear of dog turds or being attacked. Name and address supplied

#Broulee #Council #LocalStateFederal #latest #Paper #Opinion

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