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Dog Owners Collared At Bronte Beach

By Duncan Horscroft on February 4, 2014 in News

Picture: Chopper Read

Picture: Chopper Read

Doggone! The humble hound has gone from being man’s best friend to Public Enemy No.1.

Local dog owners around the Bronte area are less than happy about the new restrictions imposed by Waverley Council on walking dogs in and around Bronte Park and Gully.

There is now almost more signage than trees in the park telling dog owners where they can and cannot walk their pooches on the lead, and a time limit has been imposed on when dogs can be walked off the lead.
Letting our canine companions walk across the grass between the cutting and the surf club has also been banned.

One local surf club larrikin reckons he did his back in carrying his large dog across the grass to the area beyond the kids’ playground where dogs can be walked off the lead between 3pm and 10am the next morning.

“If the council was serious about these rule they would put another path through that particular area,” he said. “All there is now is a stupid white line on the grass and you need eyesight like a dog to be able to spot it. Wait until they get my physio bill!”

Maybe the council is worried the animals might interfere with the ball games being played in the park, which, incidentally, are among the myriad of no-nos posted on signage around the beach.

Included among the many rules are: ‘No Ball Games’, ‘No Skateboards’, ‘No Alcohol’ and ‘No Commercial Activities’.

What is taking money from an unsuspecting dog owner if it is not a commercial activity?

The Beast was told about one local who had his dog zapped with a scanner for just tying it up out of the sun on a hot day in one of the beach huts near the beach – ‘Merry Christmas! Here’s a fine of a couple of hundred bucks to welcome in the New Year’.

Another told of receiving a fine in the mail after his pet was unsuspectedly scanned while another ranger was handing him a pamphlet outlining the new rules.

That incident was below the belt, as some of the rangers are good people and have been known to be lenient on locals who don’t have troublesome animals.

Dogs have feelings too and know when they are being hard done by.

Why isn’t there some form of ‘dog shelter’ for pooches when temperatures soar during summer months? Maybe the RSPCA can answer that?

In general, dog owners are responsible people and, yes, I am one.

Admittedly there are a few who don’t fit that category, but why should so many suffer for so few?

Owners should be rewarded for having an animal with a clean sheet and maybe a ‘three-strikes-you’re-out policy’ could be introduced for those with problem pooches.

So come on Waverley Council, let’s get back to having fun at the beach. You don’t have to stop kids from playing ball games with their dads, or the mums having a glass of champers during lunch with the family.

And give dog owners a longer lead so they too can enjoy one of the most beautiful beach areas in the world.