Dogs in the Public Domain - Investigations, Trials and Projects

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On 11 June 2019, Shoalhaven City Council resolved to consult with the community in relation to additional off-leash dog areas on a case by case basis.

This page provides updates on the various investigations, trials and projects that are being delivered to enhance the experience of dogs in the public domain.

The Access Areas for Dogs Policy is Council’s guiding document in relation to dogs in the public domain. The Policy provides conduct guidelines and defines off-leash, on-leash and prohibited dogs areas for land and assets within the ownership, management, care and control of Council.

The Access Areas for Dogs Policy is currently being review along with Council's Dog Off-Leash Guide. Please visit the Review of Access Areas for Dogs Policy Get Involved web page for news, updates and opportunities to contribute to the review.

Stay Informed

Subscribe via the 'Stay Informed' function on this page to receive updates and follow the progress of the Dogs in the Public Domain project.

On 11 June 2019, Shoalhaven City Council resolved to consult with the community in relation to additional off-leash dog areas on a case by case basis.

This page provides updates on the various investigations, trials and projects that are being delivered to enhance the experience of dogs in the public domain.

The Access Areas for Dogs Policy is Council’s guiding document in relation to dogs in the public domain. The Policy provides conduct guidelines and defines off-leash, on-leash and prohibited dogs areas for land and assets within the ownership, management, care and control of Council.

The Access Areas for Dogs Policy is currently being review along with Council's Dog Off-Leash Guide. Please visit the Review of Access Areas for Dogs Policy Get Involved web page for news, updates and opportunities to contribute to the review.

Stay Informed

Subscribe via the 'Stay Informed' function on this page to receive updates and follow the progress of the Dogs in the Public Domain project.

  • Project Update - Investigations

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    Council staff have commenced investigations into the cost and suitability of the land known as Culburra Park, behind the shops at Culburra Beach Shopping Centre for use as an off-leash dog park.

    After the initial investigations, a presentation was provided to Councillors regarding outcomes and possible implications. Council staff will continue to investigate the proposed off-leash area at Culburra Park, which will include upcoming consultation.

    A report will be submitted to Council at the conclusion of these investigations.

  • Burrill Lake Lions Park Dog Fenced Off-Leash Area

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    As per Council’s resolution (MIN20.916), Council staff are investigating a new dog fenced off-leash area (FOLA) at Lions Park Burrill Lake. It is anticipated the FOLA will be completed within the 2021/2022 Financial Year.

    An online survey will be available in the coming weeks for the community to have their say on the future dog FOLA.

  • Project Update

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    The Community Survey is now closed, and submissions received by Council up until now will be considered alongside the Community Engagement Summary Report being prepared by Gauge Consulting at the conclusion of the initial Community Consultation phase.

    The data collected as part of the Community Survey will be analysed by Gauge Consulting. The outputs will be synthesised and will help inform the second round of Focus Group workshops.

    Council is committed to a balanced and transparent approach to the Policy review, which includes allowing appropriate time for the analysis of feedback received. We will provide further information on an anticipated timeline for the remainder of the engagement process in the coming weeks.

    We look forward to working collaboratively with the community to find a shared way forward for users of public space in the Shoalhaven.

  • Survey Live - Share Your Experience

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    Thank you for your input. this survey is now closed.

    Council invites you to share your experiences with access areas for dogs within the City of Shoalhaven by providing feedback via the Online Survey.

    The Online Survey has been informed by issues, opportunities and suggestions identified in stakeholder workshops and community focus groups.

    We want to hear from all users of public space within the Shoalhaven. Whether you are a resident, visitor, dog owner or non-dog owner, your experiences and views are valuable. The Survey is open to all who live, work and visit the City of Shoalhaven and closes on Monday 26 July 2021.

    Familiarise yourself with Council’s Access Areas for Dogs Policy and associated Dog Off-Leash Guide, prior to providing feedback.

    If you cannot complete the survey online, please contact Council’s Community Planning & Projects Team on (02) 4429 3456 to assist you.

    Please be advised that Council is still welcoming written submissions during this time. Send your detailed feedback through to council@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au.

    Your feedback will help us understand what you think encourages positive shared use of space in the Shoalhaven and will inform the approach to Council’s revised Access Areas for Dogs Policy and associated Dog Off-Leash Guide.

  • Update – Community Feedback Opportunities

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    Tell us how we can improve the Access Areas for Dogs in the Shoalhaven by participating in the online survey or by attending a community drop-in session.

    It is expected that all participants follow Council’s core values of Respect, Integrity, Adaptability and Collaboration throughout the Policy Review process. This includes being open to differing opinions, ideas and discussions that may include diverse and potentially opposing views. Participants must be understanding and kind to one another throughout this process, and adopt the same approach to Council staff and their representatives.

    Please familiarise yourself with Council’s Access Areas for Dogs Policy and Dog Off-Leash Guide, prior to providing feedback.

    Survey

    Council is seeking feedback through an online survey open from Friday 25 June to Monday 26 July 2021.

    If you cannot complete the survey online, please contact Council’s Community Planning & Projects Team on (02) 4429 3456 to assist you.

    Community Drop-In Sessions

    The drop-in sessions provide additional opportunities for you to speak with Council staff and Gauge Consulting about the policy review and answer questions on the Policy, the Policy Review and provide instructions on how to complete the survey to have your say.

    Community Drop-In Sessions will be held at the following locations:

    Where: Berry School of Arts (intersection of Princess St and Alexandra St)
    When: Sunday 4 July
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

    Where: Nowra – Jellybean Park (Egans Lane)
    When: Monday 5 July
    Time: 11:00am-1:00pm

    Where: Plantation Point Reserve (near toilet block)
    When: Friday 16 July
    Time: 7:00am-10:00am

    Where: Mollymook Beach (intersection of Donlan Rd south with Mitchell Parade)
    When: Friday 16 July
    Time: 1:30pm-4:30pm

    Where: Ulladulla Civic Centre (grassed area outside Centre)
    When: Saturday 24 July
    Time: 10:00am-1:00pm

  • Narrawallee Beach Off-Leash Trial – New Notice of Motion

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    A report on the outcomes of the Narrawallee Beach Off-Leash Trial that operated from December 2019 to December 2020 was presented at Shoalhaven City Council’s Strategy and Assets meeting on 9 February. Council reached a resolution (MIN21.68) and actions were undertaken by Council staff which included the design and subsequent installation of new signage at Narrawallee Beach in accordance with the resolution.

    A Notice of Motion was considered at the Strategy and Assets Meeting on Tuesday 9 March 2021 (MIN21.120) which resolved:

    That Council:

    1. Support the continuing access to the off-leash area at Narrawallee Beach from Surfers Ave as per the recent trial directions.
    2. Develop appropriate signage directing people the right way to access the off leash area in and around Narrawallee Beach especially at the Surfers Ave end. Clrs Proudfoot and White and available Councillors to assist in the development of the signage with staff.
    3. Leave the access from Surfers Ave in place until consideration of this area in the review of the Access Areas for Dogs policy.
    4. Issue enforcement penalty notices for persons not following the signage or walking with dogs directly across south end Narrawallee Beach between the steps and Victor Ave steps.
    5. Request local residents, Paws4Shoalhaven and Rangers to assist with advising residents and visitors of the strict entry process from Surfers Ave to the off-leash area.
    6. Undertake vegetation maintenance if required on mid beach access points as noted in Staff Signage Report
    7. Contact Holiday Home owners via Rates Notices advising them of the changes and the role they play in sharing the foreshore and informing their tenants of the access arrangements for dogs.
    8. Include on the new signage, information on shore bird habitats which is protected by No Dogs (access) areas.
    9. Include on the signage that to access the beach via the track from Surfers Avenue at the back of the beach, dogs must be on leash.

    Council staff will now undertake the actions as required as per the above resolution.

    The minutes are available on the Agendas and Minutes web page.

  • Narrawallee Beach Off-leash Area Resolution

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    Over the last 12-months, Council trialled Narrawallee Beach's Off-leash Dog Area with extended operating hours during the warmer months and an on-leash access from Surfers Avenue. The report on the outcomes of the trial was presented to Shoalhaven City Council’s Strategy and Assets 9 February meeting. Council resolved at the meeting to;

    1. Accept the summary of the community feedback and outcome of the amended Dog Off-leash area 12-month trial on Narrawallee Beach for information.

    2. Adopt the trial provisions, with the following amendments:

    a. Amend the dates from:

    i. 1 October to 30 April to Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time, being 4pm–8am, and

    ii. 1 May to 30 September to Australian Eastern Standard Time, being 3pm–10am.

    b. Move the southern boundary of the off-leash area to immediately south of the most southern Narrawallee Inlet Reserve entrance and prohibit access to the dog off-leash area on the southern part of Narrawallee Beach, including Victor Avenue stairs.

    c. Remove the 10m wide access way from Surfers Avenue.

    3. Erect new signs at the various access points at Narrawallee Beach in accordance with the endorsed direction.

    4. As part of the Review of the Access Areas for Dogs Policy, subject to community consultation, amend the dates of other Shoalhaven timed off-leash areas to be consistent with Part 2 (a) (i). (Minutes available on the Agendas and Minutes web page)

    New signs in relation to the off-leash area will now be prepared in accordance with the resolution, and erected at Narrawallee Beach.

  • Narrawallee Beach Off-leash Area Trial Report to Council

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    Over the last 12-months, the Narrawallee Beach Off-leash Dog Area’s extended operating hours during the warmer months and an on-leash access from Surfers Avenue were trialled. This trial has now concluded and the report on the outcomes and a way forward is going to Council’s Strategy and Assets meeting on Tuesday 9 February 2021

    The meeting is scheduled to start at 5:00pm and will be held in the Council Chambers at Council’s Administration Building. While the Council Chambers are currently closed to the public, the meeting can be viewed live on the Council Meetings web page.

    A copy of the Narrawallee Beach Off-leash Dog Area Trial Report is available on the Agendas and Minutes web page.  

    For information about how to make a deputation at the meeting on this matter, visit Council's Deputations web page.

  • Clifton Park Dog Off-Leash Area Improvements

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    Council recently completed a number of improvements to both Clifton Park and the Dog Off-Leash area within Clifton Park, Sanctuary Point. These include;

    • New shelter and wheelchair accessible double BBQ
    • Directional fingerboard signage outside and within the park
    • Dog agility equipment within the dog off-leash area. This equipment was constructed and installed by the Sanctuary Point Mens Shed. The Mens Shed was a great help with completing and installing the embellishments.
    • Installation of a dog ‘Rehydration Station’ within the dog off-leash area.
    • Installation of a dog waste bag dispenser outside of the dog off-leash area.

    The above improvements cost a total of $42,141.91.

  • Policy Review - Working Group

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    Council has asked community members to play an important role in the review of the Policy and Guidelines. The Community Working Group will work closely with Council staff to provide meaningful, representative input and feedback on the operation, suitability, and safety of existing dog areas and signage, the potential for new dog areas, the adequacy of the current documents, and more.

    The Community Working Group needs to be representative of the widest-possible span of community interests including:

    • women and men
    • dog owners
    • non-dog owners
    • business people, including Tourism operators
    • environmental protection authorities
    • sporting groups
    • people with a disability
    • the elderly
    • any other person, or group, not identified in this list.

    Council is seeking nominations from seven community members from each of the three Council Wards. To find your Ward visit the NSW Electoral Commission(External link) website.

    Expressions of interest have now closed.

    To find out more about the working group visit the Review of Accessible Areas For Dog Policy Get Involved web page.

Page last updated: 22 October 2021, 09:54