2 February 2020

New off-leash area to be trialed at Long Beach as Council continues wider review

| Ian Campbell
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Eurobodalla Shire Council is undertaking a shire wide review of leash on and off areas. Photo: Carmen Bellis ESC

Eurobodalla Shire Council is undertaking a shire-wide review of leash on and off areas. Photo: Carmen Bellis ESC.

The Long Beach Community Association is celebrating news that new dog exercise areas will be trialed on their beautiful strip of sand.

The request came from the Community Association and was championed by Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes at Tuesday’s (27 February) Council meeting; a unanimous decision when the vote came.

Under the trial, dogs will remain prohibited on the beach east of the western end of Bay Road, while the area to the west will be changed from timeshare arrangements to be a 24-hour off-leash area.

Comments on the Association’s Facebook page overwhelmingly welcomed the change, but also highlighted the need to abide by the rules…

Diane Brooks writes, “Finally, congratulations to all involved. Let’s make this trial work effectively ??? There will be an education program organised by ESC to encourage all beach users, whether they are residents or visitors to act within the framework of rules! We hope this will be adhered to by all.”

Kylie Clarke writes, “WONDERFUL NEWS!!!! So pleased!!! Thank you to the LBCA!!!!! And Thank you to our elected reps, Mayor and Councillors who voted unanimously on this! Awesome. Just awesome.”

Dani Applebee – “That’s great but just remember when your dog is off it’s leash you have control and it doesn’t knock children over and hurt them badly!”

Sue Middlebrook – “Pictorial signage that is visible, clear and understandable is the first step.”

The trial will start this month and continue until Council completes a broader review of its Companion Animal Management Plan 2015-19, which details on and off-leash areas, timeshare, and prohibited dog arrangements across Eurobodalla.

New dog exercise areas will be trialed at Long Beach, near Batemans Bay. Photo: Carmen Bellis ESC

New dog exercise areas will be trialed at Long Beach, near Batemans Bay. Photo: Carmen Bellis ESC.

Council’s Divisional Manager of Environment Services Deb Lenson says, “The review would consider how to best balance the community’s competing interests.

“Council recognises the importance of providing areas for pet owners to readily exercise their pets and the need to take into account legislative requirements, public safety and environmental constraints,” she says.

According to Ms Lenson, further consultation for the review would begin this month.

“We’ll be seeking the community’s feedback on a suite of proposed changes to dog exercise areas across the shire that aim to reduce confusing timeshare arrangements and increase provision of off-leash and prohibited dog areas,” she says.

“We’ll also be seeking suggestions on how we can work with the community to improve responsible pet ownership.”

On the spot fines for breaches of the Companion Animal Act in the Eurobodalla range from $165 for a dog without a collar, to $275 for failing to remove faeces, to $330 for a dog in a prohibited place.

Check Eurobodalla Shire Council’s website for a full list of on and off-leash areas and the expectations that go with them.

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