The City of Busselton has started the process of rethinking the management of dogs on beaches and in public places. Busselton has dog beaches enabling dogs to access and run on the lovely white sands and to frolic in the sea to their hearts desire. So far the feedback from the public has been a very mixed response, some favouring the new changes and some rallying against the new changes.
The proposed changes include the following:
- The proposal that will be considered by the Council is to turn a lot of the areas that were identified where dogs were not to be allowed into ‘seasonal’ areas.
- ‘Seasonal’ means that dogs are prohibited between 9am and 5pm on each day between 1 December and 28 February inclusive. At all other times dogs are allowed off-lead at these beach areas.
- The Council is keen to strike a balance between the desire of dog owners to use the beach and the desire of families and non dog owners to access the beach without contending with dogs and dog droppings.
- Under this revised proposal, the only areas where dogs will be prohibited at all times is in the key swimming locations at Busselton Jetty, in front of the Locke Estate camp-sites, Elmore Lagoon Quindalup, Old Dunsborough main beach and generally throughout Meelup Regional Park.
- The City will be heavily focused on the requirements for dog owners to be in control and to clean up after their dogs and will be enforcing these rules throughout the summer.
The new proposed laws would provide dog owners with more opportunities to exercise their dogs off leash on more beaches and with less restriction than may be the case in any comparable location anywhere in Australia. The new approach also provides dog owners with more opportunities to exercise their dogs at the park than may be the case anywhere else in Australia.
The new approach identifies a small number of dog free beach areas throughout the year. It also identifies other relatively small areas that will be dog free during the day time in summer only (1 December 1 – February 28, 9am-5pm). The introduction of this seasonal restriction provides additional opportunities for those who wish to recreate at dog free beaches in the summer but it still allows people to exercise their dogs off leash in those areas for the rest of the year, as well as early in the morning and late in the afternoon – even in summer.
There has been a lot of interest in this issue with over 1,200 submissions being received. Around 900 were received from the roughly 40% of households that are dog owning households (representing around 25% of total submissions); and around 300 submissions were received from the roughly 60% of households that are not dog owning (representing around 4% of total submissions).
For the latest release sent out by the City of Busselton check out the Dog Proposal letter.
We would love you to give feed back by completing the follow up survey in regards to your thoughts on the management of dogs on beaches.
Check out the link below for a closer look at the proposed Dog exercise areas: