Dog beach guidelines announced

Ashlea Pyke and dog Betty at Ocean Grove main beach. (Rebecca Hosking)

Dog access rules between 13th Beach and Collendina have been finalised, after council authorised the making of a dog control order on Barwon Coast Committee of Management Inc (BCCM) land.

The new orders aim to make dog zones clearer for owners, enhance the enjoyment of all beach users and provide safe and accessible beaches:

Dog access times in the summer peak zones between 36W-34W and 27W-15W are extended from 7pm to 9am

Dogs must be on a leash between 40W and 13th Beach (36W) when horses are present and are allowed off lead when horses are not present

Dogs need to be on a lead at all times 75 metres either side of the 7W marker in Collendina.

Council has also voted to carry out a one-year trial on Ocean Grove main beach (15W west–13W), which will allow on-leash dogs between 1 May and 30 November 2021.

The council group has also supported in principle to trial a complete ban of dogs for 12 months along Ocean Grove main beach from late 2021 to 2022, subject to a future council resolution.

Last year, the BCCM proposed draft dog control orders on the beaches it manages, which resulted in feedback from nearly 600 community members during consultation.

Council supported the proposed simplification of rules in May this year, but also voted to allow dogs on-leash at the Ocean Grove main beach during the off-peak period.

“The long awaited and greatly improved new dog control orders are welcomed by Barwon Coast Committee of Management,” BCCM chairperson Phil Emery said.

“With ever increasing numbers of people and dogs using our beaches, our previous dog control orders were clearly in need of an overhaul, being way too complex for many to fully understand.

“It has been a two-year process of extensive community engagement, working collaboratively with the City of Greater Geelong to finalise these much clearer new dog orders ahead of the peak summer season.

“There are many different user groups who wish to access and enjoy our beaches and we all need to ensure that our own use doesn’t impact the rights of others. It’s all about ‘Sharing our Shores’ respectfully and equitably and we believe these new dog control orders are simpler, fairer and safer for everyone.”

Following further constructive discussion between council, the City and the BCCM, it’s now been agreed in principle to implement two one-year trials to determine the best arrangement for the future.

The community will be asked for feedback during both one-year trial periods, to evaluate the success and acceptance of the orders for the area.

“The beautiful expanse of coast between 13th Beach and Collendina is incredibly popular for residents and visitors to spend time at,” Bellarine Ward councillor Trent Sullivan said.

“Beach users will appreciate the improved dog access rules, which are much easier to understand.

“Community members will be consulted during the two trials to understand their experience of the rules, and I encourage both dog owners and those who don’t own dogs to have their say.”

 

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