LAST weekend was a big one for dog owners on Inverloch’s beaches with everyone, seemingly, out taking advantage of the last days of limited restrictions.
From today, Tuesday, December 1 however, the summer dog restrictions come into force again and owners will need to read signs at the entrances to local beaches carefully to ensure they aren’t breaking the law.
Time periods when leads can come off,
areas where dogs are banned all together… it’s all terribly confusing.
When laws are too confusing, the simple way to deal with them is to ignore them and that’s what people have been doing.
But the laws are in now for their second season and it’s likely they’ll be enforced if any complaints about dogs on the beach are made.

Kiss complexity goodbye

It was in the 1960s that the US Navy coined the KISS Principle – ‘keep is simple stupid’ – that was subsequently adopted by business, especially the advertising industry.
It states that most systems work best when they are kept simple rather than made unnecessarily complicated.
Therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and complexity avoided.
The Bass Coast Shire Council’s approach to the dogs-on-beaches issues is a case in point.
Instead of introducing a complex matrix of rules and restricted areas that would defy understanding by a rocket scientist, the shire should simply have made it a local law that dogs must always be on a leash when visiting the beach with owners.
There would be no need to police this regulation unless a problem was reported and dog owners could feel free to give their dogs a run on the beach, off leash, or let them have a swim when there was no one else nearby.
Outside of hot days and the major holidays, the beaches of Bass Coast are practically deserted most of the time anyway.
Of course the Main Beach at Cowes should remain a restricted zone at all times and thought could be given to making the beach in front of the Inverloch surf club and Smiths Beach no-go areas for dogs over the summer but, otherwise, keep it simple.
The default setting for dogs on beaches everywhere else should be that they are kept on a leash when anyone else is around – simple!