Consultation

Off Leash Dog Areas - Cape Paterson and Kilcunda

The consultation process to develop the Bass Coast Shire Council's Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021 identified that the community wanted Council to work with land managers to continue to find off-leash beach areas within the municipality.
Council and Parks Victoria who manage the beaches in Cape Paterson and Kilcunda, used their knowledge of the beaches, the local environment and how the community currently use these beaches to identify where dog off leash areas might be located. Knowledge of Hooded Plover nesting locations and shoreline bird nesting and roosting sites was also considered and the proposed locations were discussed with Birdlife Australia and Friends of the Hooded Plover.
The process identified locations on Council managed beaches that have the potential to provide an off leash area through shared beach usage and provide for fair and equitable use of the beach while taking into account amenity and environmental considerations.

 

Cape Paterson

  •       1st Surf Beach - From Whale Rock approximately 250m east towards the Channel
  •        Boat Ramp Beach - From below the carpark approximately 120m east towards the Bay Beach

Kilcunda

  •        Main Beach - From below the Kilcunda Foreshore caravan park west approximately 150m west towards the rocks
  •        Shelley Beach - All of Shelley Beach approximately 220m

 

Currently, there are no off leash beach areas in Cape Paterson or Kilcunda. In Cape Paterson signage indicates that dogs are allowed on leash on the beach except between 9am - 6pm from 1 December - 14 April when no dogs are allowed. In Kilcunda dogs are allowed on leash on the beach throughout the year.  It is proposed that the off leash areas reflect these current regulations.

 

During the summer surveys were used to measure community support for these off leash areas, and of the two options which would be the best one. Hard copy surveys were also available to people on request.

 

Survey Results - Cape Paterson

A total of 304 responses were received.  The following table provides an overall summary of survey results.

 

 

 

Overall

Cape Paterson
Residents

Dog Owners

Non-Dog Owners

Representative percentage of survey sample

 

100.0%

58.4%

73.6%

26.4%

Support for a designated off-leash beach area in Cape Paterson

Yes

No

76.3%

23.7%

70.1%

29.9%

86.5%

13.5%

48.8%

51.2%

Preferred location (except between 1 December to 14 April when no dogs are allowed on the beach between 9am and 6pm)

Boat Ramp Beach

1st Surf Beach

24.8%

75.2%

18.0%

82.0%

21.9%

78.1%

35.6%

64.4%

 

Two hundred and three individual comments were made within the survey’s open-ended comment field.  These comments were coded and categorised, according to themes evident. The most common comment themes were in relation to:

  •       General support for suitable/designated off leash beaches/areas
  •       Enforcement of regulations/patrols required
  •       Dog not under effective control/not abiding by regulations/ harassing people/children/elderly/other dogs
  •       Consider other alternative beach options

Survey Results - Kilcunda

A total of 76 responses were received. The following table provides an overall summary of survey results.

 

 

Overall

Kilcunda
Residents

Dog Owners

Non-Dog Owners

Representative percentage of survey sample

 

100.0%

48.7%

77.6%

22.4%

Support for a designated off leash beach area in Kilcunda

Yes

No

82.7%

17.3%

77.8%

22.2%

89.7%

10.3%

58.8%

41.2%

Preferred location

Main Beach

Shelly Beach

55.1%

44.9%

54.5%

45.5%

56.4%

43.6%

50.0%

50.0%

Preferred times

24/7 All Year

24/7 –Except between 1 December to 14 April when no dogs are allowed on the beach between 9am and 6pm

65.3%

34.7%

 

62.9%

37.1%

 

70.7%

29.3%

 

42.9%

57.1%

 

 

Thirty nine individual comments were made within the survey’s open-ended comment field.  These comments were coded and categorised, according to themes evident. The most common comment themes were in relation to:

  •        General support for suitable/designated off leash beaches/areas
  •        No dogs off leash on Shelley Beach
  •        Dogs not under effective control/not abiding by regulations/ harassing people/children/elderly/other dogs

The results of these surveys will be presented to Council as part of a Council report for consideration in June 2018. Council Officers will use the survey results to make recommendations on the level of community support for formal designation of an off leash area on the beach in Cape Paterson and Kilcunda. 

The Council report and associated recommendation will be made available on Councils website at 5.00pm on the Friday prior to the Council Meeting (15 June 2018).

 

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