THERE are good reasons why dogs aren’t allowed on rock platforms and in rock pools and Wollongong City Council is encouraging residents to brush up on their knowledge before taking their pooch on a trip to the beach this summer.
Council’s compliance officers will be working these holidays to remind people about their responsibilities as pet owners, and fines can be as much as $330.
Council’s manager of regulation and enforcement, Corey Stoneham said whether the rock platform is at a green, orange, or red zoned beach, all dogs are not allowed on rock platforms or in rock pools at any time.
This rule is in place to protect native species including sea creatures as well as plants and waterways.
“As a coastal city, we’re privileged to have incredible rock platforms and rock pools right on our doorstep,” Mr Stoneham said.
“These areas are home to a wide variety of sea creatures, bird life and thousands of plant species.
“If you take the time to inspect a rock pool or rock platform closely, you’ll see that they’re actually complex ecosystems formed around the rise and fall of tides. Next time you’re at the beach take a look at the life found in and around a rock pool, taking care not to disturb any creatures you do see.
“Dogs don’t belong in these natural ecosystems. Even the best-behaved dog can cause damage to these areas by scratching and digging, chasing or killing marine life and leaving poo in sensitive areas. We ask that all dog owners keep their pets off rock platforms and out of rock pools so that we can protect our well-loved rock platforms and rock pools.”
What’s the difference between green, orange and red-zoned beaches?
Green zone – off-leash areas: Dogs are allowed off-leash at any time in these zones.
Orange zone – time on-leash areas: Dogs are allowed in these areas during certain times but must stay on a leash.
Red zones – no dogs are allowed in these areas at any time.
For all green and orange beach locations, visit Council’s Dog’s on Beaches webpage.
“We want to make sure that everyone has a fantastic summer and that includes making sure that dogs and their owners have a great time at the beach,” Mr Stoneham said.
“Our biggest tip is for dog owners to double check the rules ahead of time before heading out. If you’re really not sure, visit our website or check the rules on the signs at each of our beaches,” he said.
“We’re also giving a reminder to all dog owners that fines do apply to people caught leaving dog poo or poo bags in public areas. It’s your responsibility to pick up after your dog and put any rubbish in the bins provided. If you can’t find a bin immediately, hold on to your rubbish and bin it later.”
For more information about beaches, pools and rock pools, visit Council’s Dive Into Summer webpage.
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Dogs should also not be permitted past the bridge of Hewitts creek at McCauleys Beach as there were nesting birds and another ecosystem. People often throw balls right up the creek and allow dogs to romp and swim past the bridge, destroying the natural environment.