The West

Dogs face summer beach restrictions
Dogs face summer beach restrictions

Dog owners have flagged concerns about proposed changes to dog exercise areas in Busselton and Dunsborough.

The City of Busselton is calling for submissions on its plan, which restricts certain sections of beach in summer and opens up other areas.

Geographe dog owner Silke Rothkamm said the restrictions made it impractical for people with busy lifestyles to exercise their dogs properly.

“The proposed unrestricted areas are too far away or too small,” she said.

“I’m not against having restricted areas, but this is going too far.”

Mrs Rothkamm said limiting dog exercise areas to certain sections of beach and certain times over summer would create more dog traffic.

“When you consider how many people will move here in the future, many with dogs, it’s even more impractical,” she said.

“Most dog owners are responsible, cleaning up after their dogs and avoiding causing nuisance for beach goers. We are willing to compromise, but these proposals are unfair.”

Last week the City of Busselton posted rangers on street corners to collect feedback on the changes and so far the response has been mixed.

Ranger and Emergency Services manager Tim Wall said many dog owners did not abide by restrictions which was exacerbated in summer.

“There is still confusion or lack of compliance relating to animal exercise areas as in most areas you are not currently permitted to have your dog off lead,” he said.

The changes would allow people to enjoy Busselton’s beaches during peak hours over summer, he added.

“This process is about finding a balance for all – not just about securing convenient locations for small groups of people.

“I really encourage members of the public to give their feedback through the submission process.”

Dog owner Jo Principe said she would be making a submission.

“I’m disappointed the City wants to restrict so much of the beach east of the jetty to Geographe, as even in the height of summer there’s hardly anyone there,” she said.

Fellow dog owner Vicki O’Brien said the restrictions should be from January 1, not December 1.

Submissions are open until December 21.

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