By Gav Ross
A MAJOR decision or statement regarding the controversial restrictions for dogs on beaches around Bass Coast could be made at a public council meeting tomorrow afternoon.
After meeting with members of the Sandy Paws Coronet Bay lobby group last week, Cr Clare Le Serve hasn’t ruled out bringing forth a motion during the urgent business portion of the first Bass Coast Shire Council meeting of the year, which starts at 5pm in Wonthaggi.
Speaking to the Sentinel-Times late last week, Cr Le Serve confirmed there had been discussions about preparing a motion which would either revoke or put a moratorium on the trial, which currently keeps dogs, even if they’re on a lead, off council-managed beaches for certain times of the day and night, depending on the location.
“(Sandy Paws) asked if I would put up a motion and rescind it,” she said.
“I’m not making any promises; I said I’d speak to the other councillors.”
“I have already spoken to councillors last Wednesday and we are going to meet and discuss it further on Monday.
“We are hoping we’ll make some kind of statement, (but) whether or not it will be in urgent business I can’t clarify until the night.”
When questioned about the possibility of a motion being prepared, Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said “there’s a chance”.
“There are certainly going to be questions,” he said, referring to submissions made for Community Question Time at the beginning of the meeting.
Cr Rankine added that several councillors met at shire offices with representatives from Inverloch’s campaign group – Friends of Inverloch Dog Owners (FIDO) – last Wednesday, describing the meeting as “very productive” without going into further detail.
Cr Le Serve said she encourages “everyone to write individual letters to each councillor” regarding the issue.
“Email or post mail covering all concerns about responsible dog ownership,” she said.
“There has to be a solution on this; it’s a very divided and emotional debate.”
Originally, when councillors last voted on the issue in December, the hours of restriction at Inverloch were reduced from the originally proposed 8am to 8pm daily ban down to 9am to 6pm.
The trial was set to run until April 30, with a new report presented to councillors for decision in May.