A GROUP of Camden Haven canine carers can’t agree with the region’s regulators when it comes to their pet pooches.
Port Macquarie Hastings-Council tabled an offer at its meeting last week which would allow dogs on a small section of Dunbogan’s Wash House Beach, provided the animals are attached to a leash.
But representatives of the Camden Haven-Surrounding Areas Dog Support Committee have rejected the compromise.
They want their pets to be able to run unleashed on the northern end of the beach after 3pm and before 9am.
Council proposed a blanket ban of dogs from Wash House Beach; Little Bay, north of Tacking Point Lighthouse; and the Hastings River’s Pelican Island in February.
After much public outcry, it offered the dog lovers the compromise at its meeting last week.
In addition to the timed unleashed access, the committee’s coordinator Ron Shewring said dog owners should be able to walk their dogs on leads along the entire length of the beach at any time of the day.
Dogs are now allowed on the beach unleashed before 8am and after 4pm.
The proposal to ban the pooches came after the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water requested the council review its dogs on beaches policy.
Concerns had been raised for the welfare of fauna in the nearby Kattang Nature Reserve, which borders the beach.
Eighty-seven-year-old Joan Arthur has walked dogs on Wash House Beach for 41 years.
“Daisy [Mrs Arthur’s six-year-old kelpie-poodle cross] loves to swim and run around on the sand,” Mrs Arthur said.
“I don’t see what the problem is. Dog owners don’t do any harm to the reserve.”
The Camden Head resident said it was perfectly reasonable for dog owners to have access to the beach early in the morning and later in the day.
“It’s worked that way successfully for a number of years,” Mrs Arthur said.
But one man the Port News spoke to disagreed.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said he believed the majority of people in the area wanted dogs off Wash House Beach.
“They take over and think the beach is only for them,” the man said.
The resident of 20 years said not all dog owners acted responsibly.
“The irresponsible owners ruin it for those who do the right thing.”
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