Attention : Mayor – Cr Brett Tessari and members of Bass Coast Shire Council.
From : Frances Joyce – a visitor and dog lover.

I recently spent a few days in Inverloch and was shocked and disgusted at the state of the Inlet beach between the pier and the camping ground – particularly around Pymble Avenue .

On a warm and lovely beach day, I walked from the Screw Creek car park to Pymble Avenue. Instead of relaxing there on the beach and going into the water, I was forced to leave because the beach was overrun with dogs in the water and on the beach. As the dogs were not on leads, they were able to run wherever they pleased which meant running up to people and jumping on them. It was very obvious that there were no children on the beach as it would not have been possible for them to play in the water or on the beach without being harassed by dogs! A quick look around showed me that owners were not very careful about collecting dog droppings.

In addition to this outrage, the beach is totally neglected by council! Very large piles of concrete (perhaps put there by council?), large rocks and piles of uprooted vegetation litter the beach which makes it appear even more neglected. (I do not refer to the dead vegetation along the back of the beach which might ?? be holding the sand) but to that all along the beach where people walk or sit. This cannot be serving any useful purpose.

I have been going to Inverloch for more than 30 years. Pymble Avenue used to be a stretch of clean beach where my grandchildren played. Last week there were no children, in fact, no people apart from dog owners!

Tourist publicity encourages people to come to the rotunda area and the barbecues – it does not tell them to beware of the dogs jumping without leads from cars and racing to the beach.

This area is the easiest access to the beach for the elderly (or not so elderly), the disabled and parents with children. Now, once on the beach, they must try to make their way towards the camping ground area to avoid the dogs. This seems very unfair to me!

Most Victorian beaches have far greater restrictions on dogs eg –
• No dogs on environmentally fragile beaches (the Inlet certainly qualifies here) as do all of Inverloch beaches and the path up to Screw Creek.
• Dogs during restricted hours in summer.
• Dogs off leash in isolated areas – no way is Pymble isolated.
My questions –

Why is the Bass Coast Council prioritising dogs over humans and the fragile environment?

Why has the council abandoned any responsibility for preserving and nourishing this section of the beach which used to offer an alternative to the surf beaches for so many people?

I am not as familiar with the laws on the other beaches in Inverloch, but a quick glance at the council map shows me that the Foreshore Caravan Park is the only beach area where dogs are not permitted at any time. Could this be that not all humans desire to share the beach with dogs particularly in summer?

I thank you for your attention to my letter and hope you will give it your consideration.

Frances Joyce, Black Rock