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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

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Bags of doggie-do collected by the author during one walk along Brunswick Heads beach. Photo Annie Te Whiu

Annie Te Whiu, Myocum.

I am lucky enough to call Brunswick Heads beach our ‘local’. Like you, I think it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, if not the world. Yesterday morning, however, the number of pooch poo bags left by dog-owners within the delegated dog-beach stretch left this slice of paradise looking more like a waste outlet which would directly contribute to damaging the environment and precious sea creatures.

On the return walk, my partner and I collected 11 bags of dog-crap ready to be carried out by the king tide. I had to borrow someone’s camera to snap this photo before binning the evidence as proof that this is what had been left behind. It unfortunately reveals how much disrespect there is for this beach (and likely many more beaches).

On one hand I’m astounded that dog-owners blatantly abuse the privilege of walking their hounds on this stunning beach. I’m a dog-lover from way back and personally prefer the company of four-legged creatures to humans most days, so please don’t think this is a ‘dog-downer’ letter.

Wake up dog owners! It’s an absolute privilege to have a dedicated strip of beach for dogs on this beautiful beach (and any beach that allows dog-access). Sure, bag your dog’s crap once it’s done it’s business, but also just as importantly, bin-it. Otherwise, those remains and plastics ends up inside and suffocating our precious marine life and further polluting our waterways. I can imagine in defence some dog owners might say something like ‘I bag my dog’s crap and leave it there to collect on my return walk’. Forget this concept please as it’s clearly not working. Come prepared to the beach. Bring an old shopping bag or an old backpack or whatever and carry the bagged poo-bag in that. It’s not rocket science – it’s prioritising the environment. Simple.

Surely this kind of environmental crime is a worthy offence of a $500 fine instead, perhaps, of the $500 fine for swimming naked (as has been recently happening at the same beach). I was truly offended by the blatant environmental hazards waiting to be swept out to sea as a result of human laziness and disrespect.

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. Hear hear! Same every day at South Golden & New Brighton Beaches too. Welcome to Dog Poo Shire! Half the turds left there each day don’t even get bagged. And that’s just in the no-dog zone! So many people don’t even watch what their dogs are doing once they let them out of their cars – still supposed to be on leads until the beach – and by the time they catch up their dog has crapped and moved on. And then while their owners are standing around in groups chatting, the dogs are happily socialising, running around and crapping….

    Try mentioning what their dog has just done to them and see their polite and responsible reaction. “Not my dog.” “I didn’t see anything.” Even the occasional “F off mate and look after your own dog.” No sign of Council Rangers before 8:30, after 4pm, or on any weekends when the beaches are being most pooped on, so little prospect of enforced change. No sign of any BARCO monitors and educators – soo publicly outraged and ultra-responsible when council tried moving the exercise areas away from the Bruns and Billi Nature Reserves but notably silent and absent ever since.

    Byron Council created these areas. Byron Council owns this problem. It is a privilege not a right. Byron Council needs their Rangers to enforce it. I would much rather they focused on this instead of nudie bathers!

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