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Council lets the dogs out at Birubi, Boat Harbour


Port Stephens Council is asking for community feedback on our proposed changes for dog exercise areas in Anna Bay, Fishermans Bay and Boat Harbour. We encourage all users of these spaces to provide comment in the online survey that will be open until 6 June 2021.

 

Senior Community Recreation Planning Officer Paul Burton said community consultation was key in bringing together a proposed plan that worked for everyone.


“Our last review was back in 2014 and we know a lot has changed since then — dogs are a valued member of the family, communities have changed, recreational spaces have been upgraded and how people use these shared spaces is different,” he said.


“Listening to our community and finding balance for everyone who uses public spaces was really key this time around.”


In November 2020, Port Stephens Council held 2 community drop-in sessions and ran an online survey.


“We had a great response to our engagement late last year,” Paul Burton said.


“The feedback from dog owners and non-dog owners alike was really constructive and helped us come up with a plan that is equitable for all users.”


As well as community engagement, the dog exercise areas review took into account benchmarking with other councils and a site analysis to identify opportunities for improvement.


Central Ward Councillor Sarah Smith said this review came off the back of a request from locals.

“Everyone loves walking on our beautiful beaches — especially in peak periods.


“We’ve worked really closely with residents on this review and it’s important we get the balance right for everyone in our shared spaces. I think this review reflects that happy medium,” Cr Smith said.


Proposed changes from this review include allowing dogs off lead at Birubi Beach before 9am and after 5pm during the peak period of October to April. Dogs will also be allowed off lead at all times during the off-peak period of May to September.


At Boat Harbour beach, dogs will be allowed on lead to walk along the beach to access the headlands before 9am and after 5pm.This change will provide a new route to access the off lead area located on the South Headland and also for those that like to walk their dog on lead.


Exercise areas at Boat Harbour and Fishermans Bay Park have also been changed to better reflect the areas suitable for off lead use.


Find out more and have your say on the review of dog exercise areas:


The survey closes at 5pm on Sunday 6 June 2021.

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