Plans to increase the number of dog-beaches in the Eurobodalla Shire have gone back to the drawing board.
Eurobodalla Council will go back to the drawing board following an enormous community response to its plans to double dog off-leash areas in the shire from 12 to 24.
Over the last month the coastal council received two-and-a-half thousand surveys and 140 letters and emails, in response to its proposed changes to the Companion Animal Management Plan.
Beaches that were set to become 24/7 doggy beaches were Long Beach, Surfside, Corrigans Beach, Sunshine Bay, Circuit Beach, North Rosedale, Guerilla Bay, Congo, Narooma Main, Mystery Bay and Handkerchief Beach.
Council’s Divisional Manager Environmental Services Deb Lenson said Council is now considering the feedback.
“We had an amazing response and we thank everyone who contributed,” she said.
“We will now revisit the maps with the consideration of the wider community’s feedback and views.”
Ms Lenson said the large response to the survey proved there was great interest in the issue – from dog exercise areas, and dog-poo bag dispensers to signage and compliance.
“People are very passionate about their own patch, and it’s important to remember that we will never be able to please everyone,” she said.
“We are already seeing trends through the surveys that show very differing views. For example, some people believe dogs should be allowed on all beaches at all times, others believe that dogs shouldn’t be allowed on any beach and then there’s those who understand that a mix is important and they are just as passionate.
“We need to try and find a balance that is acceptable to dog owners and non-dog owners, with consideration of the environment.”
The community will have another opportunity to comment on the draft plan when it goes on formal public exhibition later this year. Any feedback received during the public exhibition period will again be considered before the final plan is adopted by Council.
For more information about the project visit www.esc.nsw.gov.au and search for “dog exercise area review”.