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Byron Shire
December 2, 2021

Dog owners’ unconscionable behaviour

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Good to see others concerned about the unconscionable behaviour of some of our local dogs owners when using our beaches (Ralph and Rennie Johnston/Oct 7).

To Ralph and Rennie I say, they just don’t give a stuff!

Over the long weekend I approached visitors playing with their dog at the Belongil estuary. They were very apologetic and clearly confused about where dogs were and were not allowed to be and why.

However as I was leaving the beach, where there is a large sign saying no dogs and bird breeding ground,  I was almost knocked over by two large bull terriers bounding onto the beach.  When I spoke to their owner, obviously a local and in no mood to be called to account, I was told openly that he couldn’t care less and would exercise his dogs there no matter what. Besides, it was too hard to get in to town where the dog friendly beach was waiting.

It seems it is impossible to police our beaches and signs which appeal to people’s consciences are blatantly avoided by knowing dog owners.

I tell offenders there are rangers, but are there?

And a bin at the entrance to this fragile part of our beach scape would not go astray. Even if I do remove offending excrement and beer bottles et al, there is absolutely nowhere to dispose of them without carrying the stinking rubbish several kilometres to my own home!

Council and resort developers – we, the local community, need your help to keep our beaches as pristine and protected as humanely possible.

Jan Hackett, Sunrise Beach

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  1. Yes it’s true Jan, some locals don’t give a stuff. I’ve seen it for the last 20 years at SGB. Try to take your kids down the beach! Next thing up bounds fido to say hello to my toddler. Fear follows … But owner says, “she won’t hurt you” but the damage is already done. Locals doing this attract visitors who think it’s fine too. Thanks for that. SGB has increasingly become Dogsville and at the same time the local wildlife has reduced. I wonder why? Der. I used to see wallabies and now I’ve seen one in the last couple of years. Dog owners you are destroying our local environment with your smoochkins and stuffing up children’s visits to the beach. Then you can be seen at the next rally against environmental destruction. Yes, don’t we just love the environment (so long as it does not affect my dog or my music festival). I do like animals including dogs but this is overkill (pun intended).

  2. To those of us who have dogs and obey all the rules, including beach etiquette about not letting your dog run up to children who may or may not be dog friendly or aware, it is equally frustrating. We have very few areas in which to properly exercise our companions. We try to protect those areas by picking up after the irresponsible visitors and by minding our dogs when approaching strangers. We have been abused by others when offering doggie bags to them, had to deal with completely off the planet owners who haven’t a clue what their dog is up to because they aren’t paying attention. We also are frustrated because it is really a very few individuals who are making it difficult for the rest of us. We live along kilometers and kilometers of beach, only a few of which are available to us. I believe Brunswick Heads has less than 600 metres of dog beach and likewise for South Golden. We also, since the advent of music festivals to the northern part of the shire, have become noticed by the public… discovered as it were. Visitors come, bring their dogs and are totally clueless as to dog beach etiquette, regard for the local people and wildlife. If you check the real estate advertising on line – we are a “dog friendly” area… As with society in general, we are experiencing the loss of respect for others. Our rangers are few and very wide-spread. If we have to resort to their help in situations, it is often too late or not at all. Unfortunately, it is only they who have the ability to levy fines, a sharp reminder to people that there ARE rules to obey and for good reason.
    There are very limited areas which are dog areas. Often times it is only a matter of picking a spot beyond the dog beach sign to be in a non-dog area. Most (obviously not all) people adhere to those signs. Reports of dogs in non-dog areas are usually those of repeat offenders. We need more rangers to be able to reinforce those restrictions. We also need off lead areas for our animals to be properly socialized and properly exercised. With responsible ownership, a dog which gets both is more likely to be well mannered, non-aggressive and a good companion.

    • Cindy, you may well be a responsible companion animal owner but u have got your facts wrong. Rather than “very few areas” to take your dog(s), there are considerable areas on the beaches around SGB and New B. In fact there is much more for dogs near the villages than for people without dogs! Note there are two areas for dogs next to both villages.

      And “Flowers”, the ‘family areas’ are directly in front of the villages – surely you can avoid these areas without fuss – nobodies ‘forcing you to use the family areas! If there are families in the dog zones then u should keep your dog on a lead (or at heal) until away from them (your dog must be under your control at all times in no-leash dog areas).

  3. Unfortunately, the dog owners have been forced upon the family areas by council at South Golden Beach & New Brighton. It was much better for when you could walk the dogs away from the popular areas. I hate walking my dog now because I am forced to do where there are lots of kids.


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