We are investigating dog friendly beaches for users.
Shellharbour local government area has around seven kilometres of coastline, most of which is fringed by rocky headlands, environmentally sensitive areas, public reserves and urban development including car parks and housing. This means while there is seven kilometres of coastline, there is limited sandy beach locations for the community to utilise in a range of recreational activities. It is our role to plan and manage these spaces with all users in mind, we are interested in hearing your thoughts about this project below.
Shellharbour coastline has been considered and assessed by our planning, management and regulation teams.
Two potential sites were identified for further investigation.
- Kiyong Beach, Reddall Reserve
- Shellharbour North Beach (Middle)
Kiyong Beach, Reddall Reserve
This location is positioned at the Eastern end of Reddall Reserve, just North of Warilla Beach.
- Length of the proposed dog friendly area is 200 metres and highlighted in pink.
Shellharbour North Beach
This proposed location is between the patrolled sections of North Beach, Shellharbour.
Blacks Beach to the North, Shellharbour North Beach to the South.
- Length of the proposed dog friendly area is 500 metres and highlighted in pink.
We are responsible for providing parks and beaches to our residents that incorporate as many different uses as possible and to maximize the potential use of any one open space.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 (the Act) legislates requirements for both dog owners and local Councils in managing the presence of dogs in public places. Our Dog Friendly Spaces Strategy aims to guide the provision, improvement and management of dog friendly spaces within Shellharbour Local Government Area (LGA).
There is one off leash beach area located within The Shallows and the gravel loader at Bass Point.
This area gets utilised by dog owners and their dogs, however, the designated area has a gravel base, not sand.
The Shellharbour coastline was assessed using a set of criteria. These included;
- Conservation or environmental significance ( for example shorebird nesting sites)
- Proximity to children's playgrounds as per Companion Animals Act
- Proximity of residents
- Recreational usage by the community (seasonal/non seasonal)
- Parking & amenities
- Proximity to patrolled beaches
- Barriers that limit access
We will be reporting the feedback from this engagement session to council to progress the two nominated sites to undertake further assessment.
This will include considering environmental impacts of a proposed dog beach area in accordance an environmental assessment under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979. This will be delivered through the preparation of a Review of Environmental Factors (REF). If the REF finds creating a dog beach areas may have a significant environmental impact, then an Environmental Impacts Statement (EIS) will need to be prepared.
When completed a council report will be considered by council and outcomes will be reported to the community.
This process may take time but it is important that Council ensures due diligence in this regard.
We know that the community has strong and conflicting views when it comes to allowing dogs on beaches, therefore, consultation with the public in regards to considering dog areas on beaches is paramount to any decision making.
Thank you for your feedback. Engagement for potential beach areas for dogs closed on Sunday 17 October 2021.