Walker chews out plan

Dog walkers in the south of the shire say a one-size-fits-all approach to beaches is not the way to go.

Eurobodalla Shire Council recently voted to put the revised Companion Animal Management Plan – which dictates canine beach access – out for a second public consultation period.

The latest plan follows a large-scale review earlier in the year. However, Corunna’s Ken Platt said the revised proposal makes no sense for the south of the shire.

Dogs will be banned from Mystery Bay beach between 9am and 5pm during peak season if proposed changes come into effect.

Dogs will be banned from Mystery Bay beach between 9am and 5pm during peak season if proposed changes come into effect.

“I can see how it works in areas with long beaches and high visitation, but in the south of the shire we have small beaches, with fewer visitors, surrounded by national parks,” he said. “The restrictions make no sense.”

Mr Platt is one of a group of residents who walk their dogs at Mystery Bay; the revised plan would ban dogs from the beach between 9am and 5pm during the summer season.

“The council has tried to simplify the system where dog access is either allowed, not allowed, or restricted to early morning/late evening access. That’s not shared access,” he said.

A council spokeswoman said councillors acknowledged the plan would not please everyone, but had congratulated staff and the community on a genuine collaboration based on feedback.

The restrictions make no sense.

Ken Platt

Mr Platt said the revised plan gave Mystery Bay dog walkers little access.

“There is no suitable dog-open beach nearby; we would have to drive to Narooma,” he said.

“I understand there are people who don’t want dogs on the beach and must be catered for.

“However, we are not a densely populated area –  90 per cent of beach goers here are dog walkers.

“Even a really busy beach like Cronulla only limits peak-season access from 10am to 4pm.”