It’s a sad day when the end justifies the means.
I am seriously against the targeting and bullying of councillors, or anyone.
Dog owners could lift their/our game.
It’s also a sad day however, when the imposition of regulations for the sake of “consistency”, overrule reason and the expressed views of the vast majority of the community.
I respect the right of Cr Crugnale and Cr Wright (and others) to hold views at odds with over 3000 members of Inverloch community.
Cr Crugnale fears for the wellbeing of children and families on the beaches, and Cr Wright reportedly sees beach access as a privilege not a right, and is unable to understand why dogs need to be on beaches at all. And some people in the community just don’t like dogs. I do understand that position.
I feel similarly about jet skis, ball games and fishermen on the shore, but I usually keep that to myself because people have their rights, or as I now understand, their privileges, and I am in no position to remove privileges.
Fear and ignorance are powerful motivators and I agree that the thought of packs of dogs rushing our children on a lovely sunny beach outing is a scary thing.
I for one do not hold those fears. Sadly, Cr Wright is not alone in inferring that dogs need not be treated with the same consideration as people, in so far as inclusion and respite during summer is concerned.
I believe I have a more complex and informed understanding of the value of dogs in the complicated and “inconsistent” fabric of our lives.
With respect, I believe Cr Wright is wrong.
Unlike a few weeks prior, we now see disappointed, distressed, anxious, angry, disenfranchised ratepayers who are losing privileges.
We now have elderly (dog owners) even more marginalised than before.
We are forced to endure a process which will eventually incur a real bite! Financial hardship through fines, a trial period (we are now on trial) and restrictions which I feel are discriminatory.
The new regulations impact on the emotional health and wellbeing of dogs and owners alike.
My leisure involves sitting with my dog on the beach. She watches the noisy goings on around her and I have a swim. As well as working, I am a part time carer. So the three of us enjoy the beach (not before 9am) on weekends in the summer months. Apparently this, in December 2013 has become a privilege, not a right, and a privilege which is no longer available to me or my family.
Dog owning friends who usually visit me have changed plans this year in direct response to the ‘trials’.
They also must consider the needs of their entire family.
I do not agree with targeting or bullying anyone; but I do not agree that taking my dog to enjoy the beach with me is justification for us also to be targeted and subject to discrimination.
In this I support Cr Wright who recently advised dog owners to take a deep breath.
My sense is that we should indeed take a deep breath and ensure that access to beaches once again becomes a natural part of life in Bass Coast rather a privilege bestowed on a selected few.
K. Chugg, Inverloch.