Why is Council reviewing the Dogs on Beaches & Parks Policy?
The policy review process was put into action this year as part of Council’s normal Policy review cycle. Policies must be regularly reviewed in order to ensure their relevance to both Council and the community.
The Delivery Program 2012-17 commits Council to ensure policies and procedures are regularly reviewed, updated and promoted.
Has the traffic light system changed?
No. The traffic light system, which uses a three-tier approach remains in place. This means that;
- Green zones remain off-leash areas.
- Orange zones are still on-leash and time -specific areas. Dogs are able to access orange zones, on-leash at certain times. In summer, this means before 9am and after 6pm. In winter, this means before 9am and after 4pm. Summer is still defined as starting in the September school holidays, and finishing on ANZAC Day, similar to lifeguards and surf lifesaving club patrol dates.
- Red zones remain prohibited areas for dogs.
So, while the zoning system isn’t changing, what is being proposed are a few changes to where each of the different zones are located.
Why do the proposals include a shift from beaches to parks as off-leash areas?
There are a few reasons underpinning the proposals, which suggest moving away from off-leash areas on beaches to parks. Partly, this reflects that as the City of Wollongong continues to grow so will the competing use of the beach area. It will become more important to provide recreational spaces in parks.
There have also been issues relating to compliance with the zoning system on beaches as well as general compliance with picking up after your dog and having control of your dog. This has led to community complaints. Proposals to assist with better compliance include further education campaigns, increased use of signs and colour coded fencing, along with modification of existing off-leash beach areas.
What are the proposed changes to the Policy?
Most of the 2011 Policy remains in place. The policy review proposes changes to a few beaches throughout the local government area. The proposed changes have been broken into beaches and parks, and include suggestions for the future development of more off-leash park areas throughout the entire local government area.
What are the proposed changes to beaches?
The proposal is that all off-leash beaches remain the same, except for:
- The area between Sharkeys Beach, Coledale off-leash area & Headlands boat ramp car park change from orange to red zoning, reflective of compliance issues and community concerns with such non-compliance.
- Bellambi Boat Harbour off-leash areas change from green to red zoning, due to the proximity to the East Corrimal off-leash area, and that Council restricts the use of rock platforms, seen in the rocky outcrops in the area.
- Sharkeys, Little Austinmer and McCauleys off-leash beaches change from green to timed orange, reflecting the move away from beach off-leash areas.
- Stanwell Park Beach, including north of the lagoon, remain green on weekdays, and become a timed orange zone on weekends and public holidays. This proposal reflects the high use of this small area, and ongoing community response to the current zoning arrangements.
What are the proposed changes to parks?
The proposal is that all off-leash parks remain the same. There is an additional proposal to create a new off-leash park in the West Dapto area.
Finally, there is a proposal to identify additional locations throughout the local government area that could be used as off-leash parks.
What about signage?
The review has identified the need to improve transition areas, especially at beaches, by adding signage and colour-coded dune fencing at beaches to better identify the zone applied to that beach.
How can I have my say?
The easiest way to provide your feedback on the proposed changes is to complete the feedback survey, available on Council’s website. The feedback survey is also available at Council libraries and community centres throughout the Wollongong area.
For further questions please call 4227 7111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org