Development of Dog Control Orders | Share our Shores

Dog Control Orders apply to the entire Barwon Coast Coastal Reserve . The Dog Control Orders were initiated as part of the Barwon Coast Share Our Shores Program

The Share our Shores Program focuses on all aspects of equitable use of the beach by all types of beach users and has a simple message for visitors to “Share our Shores” to ensure enjoyment by all coastal users and protection of wildlife and the natural environment.

 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DOG CONTROLS

The Barwon Coast 2021 Dog Controls Brochure provides detailed information on the Dog Control Orders for the Barwon Coast coastal reserve. 

Barwon Coast is appointed by the Victorian State Government to manage 15kms of coastal land adjacent to Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. The City of Greater Geelong (the City) is responsible for enforcing dog controls in this area under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. Barwon Coast contributes to the cost of the enforcement of the dog controls and runs education programs focussed on improving community understanding of dog controls

2017/18

In 2017 Barwon Coast contracted Federation University Australia to conduct a research project focusing on community views and experiences in relation to various management issues within the Barwon Coast coastal reserve. This report highlighted various issues with the dog control orders at the time. The Barwon Coast Committee of Management resolved to review the orders based on this feedback and other management needs including natural resource protection.

2019/20

Barwon Coast and the City consulted on dog controls in 2019-2020 and more than 1700 community members provided feedback. Feedback from the community engagement process was considered against the following criteria:

  • Access and equity for all
  • Simplified compliance
  • Clear, simple signage
  • Personal safety
  • Environmental impacts

The City and Barwon Coast also note and take into consideration the physical fitness and mental health benefits of dog ownership and the benefits of their companionship in public places.

2021

The current dog controls were approved and came into force on 1 January 2021.

 

WHAT IS THE RATIONALE FOR THE DIFFERENT DOG CONTROL ORDERS?

The dog control orders were developed with consideration to access and equity for all, simplified compliance, clear and simple signage, personal safety, environmental impacts and consideration of the physical fitness and mental health benefits of dog ownership and the benefits of their companionship in public places.

The final orders provide for these aspects in a balanced and equitable manner.

ACCESS AND EQUITY FOR ALL

More than 12 km of beaches allow for dog walking activities (on and off-leash) and just under 3 km prohibit dogs all year round to allow access for those who wish to recreate without dogs. dogs. This area only includes beach areas. It does not include coastal trails where dogs are allowed on leash all year round. 

SIMPLE COMPLIANCE AND SIGNAGE

Signage at all beach access points. These signs now match the design used throughout the rest of the City of Greater Geelong area

PERSONAL SAFETY

Seasonal controls equitable access to swimming beaches for all beach users.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

Dogs are prohibited from conservation zones and sensitive environments to protect wildlife and habitats. To protect the sand dunes and for personal safety, dogs and people are prohibited from entering the sand dunes. Dog owners must clean up their dog’s poo.

 

DOG CONTROL AREAS & RATIONALE

GREEN AREA – OFF LEASH “SUPERVISED” AREA
(34W - 30W) & (13W - 7W) (covering 4218m of coastline)

Dogs are permitted off-leash under “effective control” all year round.

Rationale:
Simple regulations and signage encourage the use of these areas for off-leash exercise while dogs are supervised under “effective control” at all times

 

RED AREA – EXCLUSION AREA
(42W to 40W) (30W – 27W) & 21 W (covering 2895m of coastline)

Dogs are prohibited in these areas all year round.

Rationale:
Dogs are prohibited all year round for the protection of conservation zones  and passive recreation that is compatible with conservation values is allowed.

 

AREA A – ON-LEASH ‘CONTROLLED’ AREA | 13th BEACH
(40W - 36W) – (covering 1552m of coastline)

Dogs must be on a leash when horses are present.
Dogs are permitted off-leash under “effective control” at other times.

Rationale:
The area is a high use activity zone, keeping dogs on-leash in this area provides a safe riding zone for people with horses. Keeping dogs on-leash in this area minimise conflicts and incidents with other activities such as hang gliding, swimming, surfing, and fishing and supports environmental concerns for the threatened Hooded Plover and other wildlife.

 

AREA B – SEASONAL AREA 1 | EAST OF 13TH BEACH
(36W - 34W) (covering 755m of coastline)

1 Dec to 30 April
9 am to 7 pm - Dogs prohibited.
7 pm to 9 pm - Dogs permitted on-leash.

1 May to 30 November
Dogs permitted off-leash under “effective control”. 

Rationale:
Seasonal changes to restrictions benefit those with dogs, whilst providing greater personal safety to beach users during peak season, especially during patrolled beach times.

 

AREA C  - SEASONAL AREA 1  | BARWON RIVER / OCEAN GROVE SPIT AND OCEAN GROVE BEACH AREAS
(27W - 15W WEST) (covering 4802m of coastline)

1 Dec to 30 April
9 am to 7 pm - Dogs prohibited.
7 pm to 9 pm - Dogs permitted on-leash.

1 May to 30 November
Dogs permitted off-leash under “effective control”. 

Rationale:
Seasonal changes to restrictions benefit those with dogs, whilst providing greater personal safety to beach users during peak season and protection for migratory birds under an International Treaty agreement (RAMSAR). This area is also home to threatened beach-nesting birds such as the Hooded Plover and resting juvenile seals.

 

AREA D  - SEE TRIAL AREA BELOW

 

AREA E – ON-LEASH ‘CONTROLLED’ AREA | COLLENDINA BEACH
(8W - 7W) – (covering 150m of coastline)

Dogs must be on-leash 75m on either side of the 7W access point.

Rationale:
This area allows access for both people with and without dogs in a responsible manner all year round. Keeping dogs on-leash near access points provides a safe family area without fear of off-leash dogs approaching children.

 

2 YEAR TRIAL AREA - OCEAN GROVE MAIN BEACH

The community engagement process highlighted a need for an area of the beach to be set aside as a dog free area all year round.  This area would cater for beach users who do not want to recreate where there are dogs due to fear, a disability or want to conduct activities not compatible with dogs on beaches. A trial of these controls is currently underway for Ocean Grove Main Beach.

AREA D - SEASONAL AREA 2 | OCEAN GROVE MAIN BEACH

(15W WEST - 13W) (covering 805m of coastline)

Trials Stage 1
Dogs will be prohibited from Ocean Grove Main Beach during the following periods: 

1 Dec 2020 to 30 April 2021
Dogs prohibited. 

1 May 2021 to 30 November 2021
Dogs on-leash.

Trials Stage 2
Dogs will be prohibited from Ocean Grove Main Beach for the entire year.

1 Dec 2021 to 30 November 2022
Dogs prohibited. 

Rationale:
Ocean Grove Main Beach is an extremely high use area. Prohibiting dogs during peak periods provides a safe enjoyment for all beach users; families, those with access needs & the elderly throughout the year. On-leash dog walking out of peak periods is allowed during Trial period 1 only.

 

Ocean Grove Main Beach Dog Controls Trial - Have Your Say

In partnership with the City we are trialing the above mentioned dog controls on Ocean Grove Main Beach until the end of 2022. Information on community experiences and attitudes about the presence of dogs on Ocean Grove Main Beach will help determine which option best suits all beach user needs.

We are seeking your feedback via a survey with a focus on Year One of the trial. The survey will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. We will run another engagement process in Year Two of the trial.

  • PLEASE NOTE THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED