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Woof Uprising
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Dogs on Beach Meeting
Thunder showers didn't deter close to a hundred  residents from gathering to make their voices heard over the recent crackdown on dog walking on Bundeena Maianbar beaches.
The meeting was organised by the newly formed Bundeena Maianbar Dog Owners Association and invited residents to sign a petition objecting to the restrictions on dog walking on local beaches. The group's spokesperson Julie Souter believes the restrictions are over the top. Souter herself  was fined $330 though she only received the recent warning letter four days later. Her attempts to walk her dog Minx in an open area around Maianbar were fustrated further after seeing the four new Council signs installed which indicated confusingly that dogs on leads were allowed on Maianbar Foreshore Reserve. Since then Council admitted that the signs were installed in error though only three of the four signs have been covered up.
Maianbar Dog Sign
George Capsis
Click play to listen to speeches (2 min 50 sec)
Ward A Councilour George Capsis showed up at the meeting in support of the petitioners. He had already spoken to the Sutherland Mayor Lorraine Kelly about raising a motion in Council Chamber to have the dog walking issue reviewed in Bundeena Maianbar. Capsis a dog owner himself recounted how during his youth restrictions had been placed on horses so it was no longer viable to have one and was fearful the same thing was happening with dogs. He encouraged the crowd to sign the petition and for them to ring and write Council with their complaints on the restrictions.
<BGSOUND src="http://bundeenainfo.com/images/stories/audio/dog-meeting-george-capsis.mp3">
Download audio/dog-meeting-george-capsis.mp3 (right click and save as)
 

During the meeting a number of views and points were raised by various participants. For some the environmental impact of dogs on wildlife was negligible compared to the damage caused by recreational boaters and day trippers to Bonnie Vale and Jibbon. Others, especially residents from Maianbar,  complained about the restrictions on dog walking through Bonnie Vale which prevented them from accessing the only legal off leash area at Horderns beach. One dissenter though warned that the Companion Animal Act restricted dogs from beaches and breaches were subject to fines of $1100.

The petition is currently circulating in various shops in Bundeena Maianbar and can be signed up to March 1st after which it will be submitted to Council and National Parks. Souter indicated another meeting would be planned for March. For additional information contact Julie on 0424 066 707 or Alison on 0412 133 530.

Related Stories

Bundeena/Maianbar Dog-Owners’ Association Petition
We, the undersigned, express our disapproval of the recent changes. We also undertake to keep our dogs under control at all times, away from other beachgoers and property and to remove and dispose of dog poo. We request that Council act forthwith and review the changes.  Read full petition

The case for dogs on beaches
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.  Read full opinion

Barking Mad
Growing resentment over a crackdown on dog walking on Bundeena beaches has locals howling. Read More

Canine Crackdown
National Parks and Wildlife Service and Sutherland Shire Council will be cracking down on residents walking dogs on local beaches. Read More


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Select Poll: 

Dog walking on beaches in and around Bundeena should be
Dog walking on beaches in and around Bundeena should be
   not allowed at all on any beach.
11   17.19%
   opened up with 24 hours access to all beaches.
14   21.88%
   kept as is with restricted hours on Horderns
16   25%
   opened up with restricted hours to all beaches.
23   35.94%

Number of Voters  : 65

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