Eurobodalla Council has adopted its Companion Animal Management Plan 2018, which outlines new arrangements for dog exercise areas throughout the shire.
The new plan simplifies dog exercise area arrangements and reduces the five existing zones to three; off-leash 24 hours, timeshare off-leash and prohibited dog areas.
The new plan almost doubles off-leash areas, significantly reduces confusing timeshare arrangements, and increases prohibited dog areas, largely due to parts of beaches being restricted. It also introduces new off-leash reserves at Surf Beach, Nelligen, Dalmeny and a trial at Hanging Rock sporting complex.
However the changes outlined in the plan will not come into effect until in the off season, which starts in May next year, to avoid confusion during the busy summer season.
The Companion Animal Management Plan was developed after an extensive community consultation period that began late last year and during which Council made significant changes in response to community feedback.
Changes made following the most recent public exhibition period included reducing the trial dog training area at Hanging Rock from 12 months to six and amending arrangements at North Broulee Beach, where the prohibited area will be extended to the Francis Street beach access, and the off-leash area will stretch from Francis Street to the National Park boundary.
Following presentations from Rosedale residents on Tuesday, councillors also removed the prohibited arrangement at Boathouse Beach, making it timeshare to be consistent with Rosedale Beach.
Council’s Environmental Health and Compliance Coordinator Nathan Ladmore said Council had allocated $20,000 to update signage at beaches throughout the shire in line with the new arrangements.
“Feedback from the community was that signage for dogs on beaches was confusing, so we’re undertaking a full review to improve it going forward,” he said.
“A further $30,000 was allocated to improve responsible pet ownership after community feedback indicated they wanted to see responsible pet ownership improved across the board and more of a ranger presence on our beaches.
“We will be increasing ranger presence with a focus on education, but Council may still issue penalties for those who flout the rules.”
The plan aims to balance community amenity, animal welfare and environmental preservation while promoting the benefits of responsible pet ownership and effective companion animal management.
More information is on Council’s website – www.esc.nsw.gov.au and search ‘dogs on beaches’.
Above: Changes to dog exercise areas throughout the shire will not come into effect until May next year.