As a pensioner, who is a permanent resident of Inverloch, I am heartened by Cr Jordan Crugnale’s stated awareness of the social, physical and mental health benefits for people owning a dog.
While you say you are “equally aware that many people, including families with young children have an issue with any dog presence whether it is on a lead or not”, I am distressed that the restrictions on access to our beaches by people simply wanting to share time with their companion dogs has been the only casualty in your “equal” concern.
Car owners pay registration and get roads, boat owners pay registration and get ramps and car parks, dog owners pay registration and get discriminated against.
Billy-cart owners pay no registration and get the entire main street of Inverloch closed off for an entire day, bike owners pay no registration and get the same, skateboard owners pay no registration and get an expensive skate park built and maintained for them.
Council should stick to roads, rubbish and drains – we have State Governments to make laws about dogs! They have, and that’s enough.
The idea of a trial sounds so very reasonable – that is until you analyse the concept.
Do we have any base level data other than the number of dog registrations within the shire?
What is it we will be comparing at the conclusion of the “trial”?
Perhaps we might compare the number of letters to editors, for and against?
Perhaps we might conduct another survey?
Maybe it is more about “let’s implement this regressive and discriminatory restriction of access to water on hot days and once the initial tirade of objection has inevitably subsided we can say triumphantly that the trial is a success and a win for families with young children”.
Councillor Crugnale asserts that she doesn’t want to divide the community and that she welcomes debate.
She is especially pleased that everyone is “starting to listen” and to see other sides of the debate. As if!
Sounds to me that Cr Crugnale is saying, in code: “People are beginning to realise I’m right”!
The council and councillors need a wake-up call. I don’t believe they have considered the potential for unintended consequences.
For a start, what consideration was given to the coordination of tidal movements in relation to restricting those with dogs on a lead to night-time sorties along a beach?
Might the council say this is a five-month trial, but with flood tides affecting beaches at the allowed access times at least four to five days a month, the access for pensioners is reduced to four of the actual five allocated months. The pensioners are relegated as the losers in this debacle.
What about the potential to spike an eye from the tea-tree debris that litters the inlet beaches? Don’t forget, many of the discriminated group already experience failing eyesight. And, by the way, what is the council doing about the mess along the beach caused by erosion?
I wonder too, if council took into account the potential for clinical depression among some of the devoted dog owners who now suffer anguish and a deep sense of loss from having to deprive their “family member”, canines of a cool dip on a hot day?
I think most fair-minded Victorians are sick and tired of “Nanny State” politics where somebody assumes ownership over an asset that belongs to all of us and decides to preclude some activity or activities simply because they are not liked or shared-in by the self-proclaimed ‘guardians’.
I want to see a backflip on this stupid by-law.
Instead of overtime for rangers to ensure compliance with unjust and unpopular restrictions, put the money towards graffiti removal, pot-hole filling and once-a-year hard-rubbish collections – this should be the core business of local government. Oh, and don’t forget our ballooning rates that exceed CPI each and every year without fail to “deliver the services that people demand”.
Please accept this letter as a demand to reduce services and save money by reinstating equity of access to our local beaches.
Eric Haw, Inverloch