inclusive-communityI have seen many, many letters and emails and heard feedback in Inverloch and Wonthaggi streets from people who are up in arms about the ban on dogs on Inverloch beaches. I have not heard anything in favour of the ban.
I wish to add my voice to the countless others against the ban.
During all my walks, I am always accompanied by my dog.
But we can no longer enjoy the beach – we have been banned during the majority of the day.
We are confined to walking on roads or the very few suitable footpaths.
I am a resident who is now being excluded from using my local beach. So are elderly people, working people as well as parents of school children. These people have told me that they used to walk on the beach with their dog during the day, but now cannot because they are not able to easily access it between 6pm and 9am.
Why are we banned? No explanation has been given about who this ban is meant to advantage.
I have not received any answers to questions to councillors or Bass Coast Council management. Other people have told me of the same lack of response.
Why are we being ignored?
Has the ban been introduced because of a concern for the safety of Hooded Plovers?
If so, why not fence off their nesting areas and ban all people from these areas – not just people walking dogs on leads.
Also, Hooded Plovers do not have their nesting areas in all areas of all Inverloch beaches. So why has the ban been introduced for all Inverloch beaches?
Inverloch beaches are now empty of people during the ban times.
It used to be used mainly by people walking their dogs – very rarely by others.
Now no one can be seen using the beaches.
Why ban people with dogs from the beaches during daylight hours for five months?
This shows that concern about any danger or inconvenience to children or holiday makers is not a reason. If it was, then the trial would only occur during the high tourist usage period of the four weeks following Christmas.
No local people I have spoken to have agreed with the ban – especially the length of five months.
The Off Lead survey conducted in July 2013 does not ask for any support for banning on lead dog walking.
What is the basis of the trial of banning people with dogs from beaches from 9am to 6pm?
No explanation has been provided to ratepayers, residents or business owners.
There doesn’t appear to have been any properly researched pre-trial process or guidelines for the trial.
A change of local laws should require a vote based on the view of the majority! Not a light-bulb idea from a minority of people who dislike dogs.
It doesn’t appear that this ban has the backing of the majority of ratepayers and residents.
Why aren’t our councillors meeting the community to find out what the community wants?
Why take away one of the advantages that Inverloch offers to residents and tourists over other coastal areas?
Being able to walk dogs on the beaches is an attraction for many people. That’s why they come here instead of holidaying elsewhere.
Business owners in Inverloch count on the boost to their income; we cannot afford to lose holiday makers to other places.
Mark Green, Inverloch.