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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Offleash-dogs crackdown, business as usual for illegal campers

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A woman in my neighbourhood was recently fined over $220 by a Byron Shire Council ranger for walking her dog off the lead.

She was with her dog at the scrappy end of Cowper Street where the road peters out into a grassy area before it becomes the track through to Lawson Street.

Her dog is quiet and well behaved. She was unaware she was breaking the law, but rather than give her a caution the officious ranger issued a whopping fine.

Contrast this with the hundreds of van packers who camp in our town every night  including in that same end of Cowper Street), piddling and pooping wherever they please.

How many of them are ever fined? It would be interesting to see council statistics on issued fines, as it seems to me that it is the residents of Byron who are the easy revenue raising targets of our selectively vigilant rangers.

Louise Andrews, Byron Bay

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  1. Louise, ask the question at the next Council meeting at the end of public submissions. Also ask what the Council is going to do about all the other dog owners who walk their dogs off leash and are breaking the law.

  2. Happened to me..as a Rate-Payer in 2010..walking old 14 year old Dslmation in Sunrise Sewerage Lands @ 0643 ..Passive…off lead…Finded a $240 fine by Ranger Scottie…Whilst Tourists defeacated in the streets…Phoned Council…The reply…”How do you know it was Tourist defeacation?” My reply Old Dali does not use tampons or toilet paper” Got the $240 fine….Sold..

  3. Louise,

    Extra ranger/parking wardens have been employed to enforce paid parking. These people will be on short term contracts. The bottom line is that if they want to keep their jobs they must meet their infringement quotas.

    As you would know, in the winter tourist numbers fall. Also local day trippers now avoid Byron Bay because of paid parking. Accordingly, if rangers/parking wardens want to hang onto their jobs they are impelled to issue tickets to locals at every available opportunity.

    As for van packers, issuing them tickets is a waste of time and money because the vans are registered to overseas drivers.

    So, as a consequence of paid parking, locals can look forward to sucking up more infringement notices issued by ever vigilant rangers. In an increasingly uptight town. If you are a supporter of paid parking this is your Karma.

    Looking on the sunny side, the revenue raised can be used to shore up the proposed Belongil rock wall. Failing that, it can be used to pay off the residents of Belongil that are suing the council.

    Isn’t life grand?

  4. All councils in Australia have similar dog laws. In public spaces dogs are required to be leashed and under the control of the owner. Infringement notices with a fine can be issued.The only exception is off leash dog exercise areas, but the owner must still have control over the dog.

    Dogs can be easily “spooked”. If they are walking beside a road and not leashed they could easily run onto the road and be hit and killed or cause the death of the driver in trying to avoid the dog. I can vouch for this.

    I have lived in and visited the UK numerous times during the past 40 years. Invariably, you do not see dogs unleashed in public areas. The difference in attitude can be compared with Byron where the majority of dogs are not leashed to their owners in public. Irresponsible and breaking the law. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.


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