Keep our shared beaches safe for everyone
  • Thursday 21 May 2015
•	Councillors Dwyer and OPray (centre) with Paul Digby, Rob Evans and Brett Panter from the Response Services Team

Sunshine Coast Council is keen to ensure that dogs do not unnecessarily annoy beachgoers and to keep an eye on this, Council today launched its new dog patrol strategy.

The new approach takes the form of a bright orange all-terrain vehicle, which councillors Jason OPray and Tim Dwyer unveiled at Moffat Beach this morning.

Division 2 Cr Dwyer said Council had been inundated with requests from the community to increase patrols across the region to ensure owners took responsibility for their dogs.

“The Sunshine Coast has so many beautiful beaches and foreshores that should be safe, shared spaces that are treated with respect – we need to be mindful of each other and careful with our beaches which are important ecological habitats,” Cr Dwyer said.

“While our officers can’t be everywhere at once, the new beach vehicle will enable us to cover a lot more ground across the region.

“We continue to see many dog owners ignoring signs and the law by allowing their dogs to run off-leash in on-leash areas and or causing a nuisance or danger to others.

“It is hoped that the majority of dog owners who manage their dogs responsibly will embrace this new service along with the rest of the community and that those who have not been doing the right thing will curb their behaviour.”

Division 8 Cr OPray said Council held a strong "zero tolerance" position on irresponsible dog ownership as they worked to create a place where people could feel safe in their communities.

“Dog owners, please take note, you are always responsible for your dog, even when your dog is off-leash in a permitted area,” Cr OPray said.

“Your dog should not charge up to other people or other dogs. That can be very intimidating.

“They must be under your control at all times and should only be off-leash in designated areas if it can be reliably controlled with voice commands.

“And your dog must be on a leash at all times in public unless signage indicates it is a dog off-leash area.”

Cr OPray said Council wanted to give the community a heads up the new patrol vehicle would be hitting a beach near them in the coming weeks.

“Council just wants dog owners to follow the local laws and be responsible for their dogs – this is a new method for us to manage this,” Cr OPray said.

“The officers will also be keeping an eye out for owners not picking up after their dogs.

“Full dog bags left on the sand has been a problem for many beach goers.

“Carry a dog bag with you at all times when walking your dog, pick up after it, carry it with you on your walk and dispose of the bag in a bin. It’s good manners and good for the planet.”

For further information about dog off leash areas and responsible dog ownership, visit Council’s website.