David Gilet, in his 6 July letter, brought up the issue of beach signage regarding public confusion about dog exercise areas.
I’ve been warning people with dogs away from the Belongil estuary for more than 15 years now – to no avail. Most either feign lack of knowledge or swear, and I’ve been threatened with physical assault on more than one occasion.
Last week I asked a couple playing frisby with their cattle dog, at the mouth of the estuary, why they were exercising their dog in a bird breeding zone which is clearly designated as a NO DOGS area (signage thanks to Elements, not Council). I wanted to ask if they were illiterate or blind but managed to hold my tongue, just. Turns out, as I walked them from the beach, they were indeed innocent, for they had parked away from the public access trail and crossed the old resort golf course instead, therefore bypassing any signs. Also they understood, correctly, that Belongil Beach was for dogs, asking me ‘Isn’t this Belongil beach?’ And that took some explaining.
My first Notice of Motion when elected to Council in 2016, was for Council to clarify beach names and boundaries and correct signage. The beach on the north western side of the
Belongil Estuary is colloquially called many things, including North Beach and Sunrise Beach.
In my day it didn’t have a name – because it was an undeveloped area. It was just ‘on the way to Tyagarah’, or ‘past Belongil’.
I know Council staff worked hard to clarify beach names and boundaries, e; Main Beach does not end at the car park but stretches all the way to Kendall Street!
I also know that the staff member who did that research has now left, and the paperwork may well be shelved or lost, because nothing has been done.
With new councillors on board, and a flood and housing crisis to address, I frankly doubt this problem will go away anytime soon.
Jan Hackett, Byron Bay