Council Takes New Approach on Enforcement

Bass Coast Shire Council will change its approach to enforcing regulations during the 2014/15 summer season after Council passed a motion endorsing a program for managing dogs in public places.

Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said Council had responded to community feedback to focus more heavily on enforcement this summer, particularly for cleaning up after dogs and carrying a bag.

“Council’s approach for the 2014/15 season will be to give those found to be non-compliant with Council’s Local Law an official warning on the first occasion, followed by a fine for any further non-compliance,” Cr Rankine said.

“People who do not clean up after their dog, or do not carry a bag to do so, will not receive a warning, but will instead receive a fine.

“Dog owners are well aware wherever they are in Victoria of the need to clean up after dogs, and dog excrement is a significant environmental issue as well as presenting health and amenity problems.”

Dogs are required to be on a lead at all times, except in off-leash areas, and time restrictions apply on some beaches.

On the spot fines range from $100 for failure to carry a bag to $148 for failure to have a dog on lead where required, or for being on the beach at times when it is prohibited.

Rules and regulations for all Council managed beaches other than Inverloch will remain unchanged. Following the community consultation a report that will consider future dog management on Inverloch beaches will be presented at the November Council Meeting.

Council also deferred a decision in relation to patrols of non-Council managed beaches pending further investigation and negotiation with the relevant land managers.

“Council Officers have recently been in discussion with land managers such as Phillip Island Nature Parks and Parks Victoria in the lead up to this report being presented to Council on our summer strategy for dogs in public places,” Cr Rankine said.

“During those discussions, questions have been raised which require further consideration.

“For example, a request has been received for non-Council staff to be authorised by Council to undertake patrols and enforcement.

“Council will be using a variety of strategies to ensure the public understand the rules and regulations. This will include clear signage, educational brochures and information in local newspapers, on our website and through social media.”