Beach dogs survey open

Milo the Wonderdog enjoys his walks on the Ocean Grove beach with Amie, Jada, Arthur, Clancy and Heidi.

Barwon Coast Committee of Management has engaged Federation University Australia to undertake a social research project focusing on the impacts of population and dogs on beaches on the Barwon Coast.
Researchers for the project will host an information stand from 8am to 4pm at the following locations:
Collendina Beach on Friday 26 January
Ocean Grove Main Beach on Saturday 27 January
Starfish Bakery, Hitchcock Avenue, Barwon Heads on Sunday 28 January

The project is called ‘Barwon Coast – Examining Impacts of population, domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and seasonal variants on coastal environments’.
The research is heavily reliant on a public survey that is currently open. More information on the project and a link to the survey is at As evidence of the huge level of public interest in this issue, 220 surveys were filled out in the first 48 hours of the survey being open.
The head researcher for the project, Dr Angela Murphy from Federation University said: “The research aims to build a better understanding of what is happening in the local area in terms of population changes, environmental issues and the impact of dogs and people on the coastline. It also seeks to provide people with the opportunity to provide their views and unique insights into these issues. These types of local insights are critical to understanding the local environment and what is happening within it. The information that people provide through online surveys will be summarised into key ideas and themes and will not include any identifying information. In this way individual participants can feel confident to share their insights and help build a new body of knowledge that is very important for the future planning and development of the Barwon Coast”.
“Finding the best way manage people and dogs on Barwon Coast beaches is one of the key management issues for the Barwon Coast Committee of Management. Later in 2018 we will be reviewing the current regulations in place for dogs on beaches in consultation with the community,” Barwon Coast general manager Gary McPike said.
“To properly understand the issues arising from beach use by people and dogs we need hard background data, not just hearsay to form the basis for the review. This is why we hired an independent and highly regarded research organisation – Federation University, to undertake this research project.”
The public survey will be open from 16 January to 15 April. The expected completion date for the research report is June 2018 and this will be publicly available on the Barwon Coast website.
To be involved in an interview for this project or for further information contact Federation University Australia on (03) 5327 6198 or via email at