Dogs On Beaches Time Restrictions Changed

Bass Coast Shire Council has responded to community feedback that original time restrictions for dogs on Inverloch beaches were too restrictive and has amended the times to the hours of 9.00am and 6.00pm. These times are consistent with restrictions that apply in Parks Victoria’s managed adjoining beach – the Surf Beach south of Wreck Creek – making rules consistent right across Inverloch beaches, regardless of which authority manages them.

The time restrictions are part of a trial to find a balance between those who want no dogs on the beach and those who want to exercise their dogs on the beach. The trial also includes the establishment of four dog off-leash areas both inland and on beaches in Inverloch.

These restrictions will apply between December and the end of April. This time will be used to gather data from people attending the beach and will be reviewed by Council in May 2014.

Council’s Acting Community and Economic Development Director, Antoinette Mitchell, said all feedback, positive and negative, was being logged and will contribute to the evaluation at the end of the trial.

“While there are still dog walkers who would prefer there to be no restrictions, it is reasonable to trial this arrangement and undertake an evaluation after summer,” Ms Mitchell said.

“This enables those people who do not wish to have dogs on beaches at particular times to have input into a decision about future arrangements.

“The level of enforcement will be determined by the behaviour of the community. Our preference is always to educate people and if this doesn’t work we will issue a warning. Fines are only used as the very last resort and I hope that they will be not be necessary.”