The cafe at the Surf Life Saving Club is a no-dog area at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach.
The cafe at the Surf Life Saving Club is a no-dog area at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach.

Access to the beach in Lennox still a dog’s breakfast

WALKING a dog at Seven Mile Beach on a sunny day is a very relaxing idea your poochie sits at your feet while you enjoy a coffee to the sound of the ocean.

But the mix of canine friends and cafe dining has proven a conflicting one for Ballina Shire Council, after a community request to extend access to the beach for dogs.

At the meeting last week, councillors could not agree on one final solution, so they agreed unanimously to request a further report on the matter.

The motion passed was that council “hold a briefing with the aim of expanding the on-leash dog area north of the Lennox Surf Club that links up with the existing dog on-leash beach

entrance”.

The motion, raised by Cr Keith Williams, explained that recent changes in the Lake Ainsworth precinct have prohibited dogs from a large area and relocated the dog off-leash area to the south, closer to the surf club.

“I supported both these changes,” he said.

“However, the current access arrangements via a two-metre wide dogs on-leash pathway to the beach are ugly and the recent installation of signage has left dog owners feeling excluded and unwelcome.”

There as many no-dog signs as there are dogs on a weekend at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach.
There as many no-dog signs as there are dogs on a weekend at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach.

There are currently so many “NO DOGS” signs in the area near the surf club, it is no wonder dog owners felt unwanted.

The proposal means the path for dogs and owners to enter the beach could be moved, but details and costs made it impossible for councillors to agree on a single idea and instead they decided to request a briefing.

The prohibition on dogs east of the surf club was implemented as a trial in

2010.

Council formalised the non-dog area arrangement in 2012.

In October 2019, the extent of the no dog area in the vicinity of the surf club was extended to cover most of the reserve area adjacent to the surf club.

Council staff commented to councillors that “a proportion of dog owners choose to disobey signage and regulations in the subject area and permit dogs either on leash and off leash in dog prohibited areas.”

The current approved path for dog access at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach.
The current approved path for dog access at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach.

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998 dogs must be under the effective

control at all times by a competent person and when in an on lead permitted

area the dog must be on an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached

to the dog and that is being held by or secured by a person.