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The case for dogs on beaches
Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Bundeena Dog on Beach
One local writes why dog walking on beaches should be allowed.

By Diana Simmonds

The letter from Sutherland Council and NPWS was not only ferocious but contradictory too. In detailing where dogs can and cannot be exercised it stated in one paragraph that dogs are permitted on Horderns's beach, and in another that they are not permitted on any beaches. The signs at the entrances to the beach are similarly contradictory: showing the no dog symbol as well as detailing the times they are allowed (off leash) on the beach.

The SCC/NPWS letter also states that dogs are allowed on Hordern's but they must be above the high tide mark. I rang Council about this – because it doesn't make sense and is contrary to most by laws anywhere relating to beach access – and was told that it means that dogs are permitted on Hordern's below the high tide mark but must not be allowed in the water. If they enter the water they will then be contravening a Maritime Services Board regulation. The council employee didn't know what that regulation is, observed that it  sounded ridiculous and that he didn't understand what all the fuss was about.

The letter also tells us that dogs on Deeban Spit and Jibbon Beach would leave a smell that would be very disturbing to nesting seabirds. The weekend I got the letter I happened to be kayaking around Deeban Spit and counted 25 motorised boats of all kinds plus their picknicking, litter-leaving occupants; similarly Jibbon was temporry home, as usual, to upwards of 20 large cruisers – with the attendant noise, pollution and litter. I fail to see how a few dogs could be more disturbing to wildlife than this regular massive incursion on these areas, yet nothing is done to police them nor
ensure they do the right thing in the way of litter and noise.

The same goes for Bonnie Vale when it comes to noise and unbelievable  amounts of litter.

Dogs and their owners are being attacked very unfairly and without consultation while the day trippers get away with trashing the entire area – it stinks. Literally.
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