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.