Petition calls for off leash dog beaches

dog beach sunsetALMOST 3000 signatures have been presented to Wollongong City Council calling for the current off-leash dog policy on Northern Illawarra beaches to remain the same.

The petition is in response to Council’s plans to restrict dog access at locations including Sharkeys Beach, Little Austinmer, McCauleys Beach between Bulli and Thirroul, Stanwell Park Beach and Bellambi boat ramp.

As part of a review of Dogs on Beaches and Parks policy, Council considered proposed changes at its meeting on July 28. Council also recommended that the amended policy be placed on public exhibition for 60 days, until October 6. The public exhibition period is now closed, with submissions no longer being received.

During that period Council received about 2,000 submissions through its web site and via the mail. Council has also received two petitions with about 3,000 signatures relating to the proposed changes to the policy. Council staff will now consider all submissions and provide a report to Council later this year.

Organiser of the petition Margaret Wall, from Austinmer, says the council has given no reasonable explanation for changing the current dog off-leash policy and one way to take the pressure off leash beaches is to create more of them.

Supporters of the policy say there are too many dogs on the designated leash-free beaches, and have raised concern over attacks and the safety of children.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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