Dog access issues at Lennox Head have still not been resolved.
Dog access issues at Lennox Head have still not been resolved.

Decision on Lennox Head's dog 'walk of shame'

Update 1.30pm:  BALLINA Shire Council will aim to change the signage and remove the so-called 'walk of shame' that dog owners must use to enter the beach at Lennox Head.

Council voted to go ahead with a recommendation from staff to extend the dog on-leash area adjacent to the beach access path, along the northern frontage of the reserve.

Councillors asked if that work could be completed before Christmas, a request that Cr Stephen McCarthy criticised given that the motion could not be decided on in November, as councillors misunderstood the options presented to them in the meeting's agenda.    

The overall issue will be considered more fully next year, as part of the Companion Animals Management Plan Review.

The current access to the dog beach at Lennox Head.
The current access to the dog beach at Lennox Head. Javier Encalada

 

Original story: ISSUES surrounding dog access arrangements around Lake Ainsworth, Seven Mile Beach and the Lennox Head Surf Club may not be resolved until some time next year.

Ballina Shire councillors will again discuss the matter at this week's meeting.

Dogs are currently prohibited along the entire frontage of the reserve, aside from use of the walkway to the beach and in the immediate vicinity of the kiosk.

There is a dog-on leash area between the surf club building and the toilet block to enable dog walkers to buy items from the kiosk.

 

The current situation for dogs at Lennox Head.
The current situation for dogs at Lennox Head.

 

A staff report explains that a "significant portion of the people that frequent this area with dogs, appear to do so in order to access and use the pathway to the off-leash dog exercise area on Seven Mile Beach".

"If changes are to be made, it is unlikely that the required works could be undertaken prior to the Christmas / New Year period, along with ensuring there is sufficient education and information provided to the community," the report states.

"This then raises the question of how to manage the area, in any interim period, if a change to the current arrangement is adopted by council.

"If changes are endorsed, and put on hold until the New Year, it may create further create confusion and conflict, and difficulties for council's rangers in managing this high activity precinct."

The recommendation is to maintain the current arrangements.

However, if the councillors want immediate changes, an extension of the dog on-leash area adjacent to the beach access path along the northern frontage of the reserve is recommended.

 

One of the options being considered by Ballina Shire councillors.
One of the options being considered by Ballina Shire councillors.

 

"This approach is proposed on the basis of enabling a greater area for dogs on-leash and practicality of defining the on-leash areas to support community understanding and ultimately enforcement," the report states.

The overall issue will be considered more fully next year, as part of the Companion Animals Management Plan Review.

It is expected that will be undertaken in the first quarter of 2021.

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