Off-leash beach ‘outrageous’


United front: Protesters show opposition to a proposal that would see dogs roam free on part of Edithvale beach. Picture: Gary Sissons

A BACKLASH against a proposed 24/7 off-leash zone for dogs at Edithvale beach has seen residents gather on the foreshore to show opposition to the proposal. Some dog owners also attended the demonstration.

Demonstration organiser Kevin Harrison said many residents and beachgoers are aghast at a Kingston Council suggestion to allow dogs to run off-leash at all times of the day and night on a 300-metre stretch of Edithvale beach between Somme Lane and Bristol Avenue.

He said the demonstration held on Saturday (7 July) was well attended despite poor weather on the day.

“We cannot for the life of us fathom why a large section of Melbourne’s most prized and pristine beaches on Edithvale foreshore with no specific boundaries has been proposed by council as a suitable location for a 24/7 dogs off-leash beach,” Mr Harrison said.

“This is an outrageous proposal which will effectively deny the public enjoyment of nearly a quarter of one of Melbourne’s most popular and populated beaches — a beach that is enjoyed every summer by thousands of people of all ages from all walks of life, including families.”

Councillors at council’s May public council meeting backed a plan to allow canines to walk and run off-leash in the area and sought community feedback on the proposal.

In a report lodged at the May meeting, council officers recommended other “quieter” areas in Chelsea and Carrum as being more appropriate for a permanent dog off-leash zone.

“Council will consider all community submissions and feedback at the end of the public consultation period,” Council planning and development general manager Jonathan Guttmann said in the wake of the weekend demonstration at Edithvale beach.

Councillors at the May meeting said they would listen to community feedback before any final decision on an off-leash area.

“It is also worth noting that many people opposing this proposal are dog owners who use the Edithvale foreshore regularly to exercise their dogs and feel that the current dog rules are fair and reasonable for all,” Mr Harrison said.

Council is taking public feedback on the proposed Edithvale 24-hour dog off-lead area until Tuesday 31 July at online or by calling 1300 653 356.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 11 July 2018

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4 thoughts on “Off-leash beach ‘outrageous’

  1. I am 100% for the proposed off leash area. I am a young 26 year old member of the Kingston council, I grew up in Lochiel Avenue and have purchased my first home nearby. Our community is strong, in my view a lot of this has to do with our dog-living community. I have numerous people of who I have only met because of my dog walks. This would be such an enormous benefit and a positive move for the people of the Kingston community. Just look at the popularity of Mentone and Brighton dog beaches. Make it happen! Please! If you could only see the amount of dog walkers before 10am in our beaches! There are so many. Please please please YES YES YES!!!!

  2. I was attacked by a dog off the lead & I needed stitches. My friends dog was attacked by a dog off the lead. I don’t feel safe when dogs are off the lead. Some of them run up to you and jump on you, which is scary. Not all dogs are harmless & small! I want to be able to enjoy my time at the beach without worrying about dogs attacking me or my family or simply annoying us. I’ve seen dogs urinating and pooing on the sand. I don’t want dogs going to the toilet near me. Not all dog owners are responsible in controlling their dogs and collecting their dogs faeces. I’ve seen dogs being aggressive with each other, this could be a very dangerous situation for children and adults. I strongly object to dogs being off the lead and they should only be allowed on the beach at restricted times. Edithvale beach in summer is packed with people, we don’t need to add to the human traffic on the beach, by allowing dogs to run around where families are enjoying their time at the beach.

  3. The council have voted to ignore their own officer’s advice that this is not the best place for 24/7 off leash.

    This is what was recommended and voted against by 8/9 councillors.

    “That Council commence the statutory advertising process to determine if a 24 hour a day dog off leash area on the Kingston foreshore extending from the southern municipal boundary (Osprey Lane, Carrum) to approximately 250 metres to the north be further pursued “

    It’s worth watch the live stream on the council website dated May 28th and then read the agenda for the same meeting, with the complete officer’s report giving reasons why Edithvale is NOT THE RIGHT SPOT!

  4. Making the Edithvale beach an off leash area 24/7 will be popular – for dog owners. Families and the greater public will suffer. I have young children and I avoid the off leash times as it is. When I am there during off leash, my 2 year old avoids the water and I have to constantly watch her as any dog gets close. I dog sit quite a bit and am happy with current times.

    Local shops benefit from summer visitors but this will just draw after work/weekend visitors to Aspendale and Chelsea beaches

    I used to live right behind the Brighton dog beach… it was terrible. Never swam in the water and not all owners pick up after their dogs.

    It’s so frustrating that the other areas of Kingston are getting new surf lifesaving clubs, and great parking facilities for the beach and our option is a DOG BEACH? Tired of being the poor cousin of Kingston.

    Also nice to see the survey go out in the middle of winter, when no one is thinking of summer and less likely to take the time to fill it out….

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