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Have your say on potential off-leash beach areas in Rhyll and Cowes East

Have your say on potential off-leash beach areas in Rhyll and Cowes East

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Bass Coast Shire Council is seeking community input on potential off-leash beach areas on Council managed beaches in Rhyll and Cowes East.

Through an online survey, Council is hoping to identify the level of community support for off-leash areas in the following locations:

  • Rhyll on the beach between Jansson Road and Walton Street
  • Cowes East on the beach between the Dunsmore Road beach access track and Rose Avenue beach access track.

Currently, there are no off-leash beach areas in these locations. Dogs are allowed on-leash on the main beach at Rhyll and Cowes East except between 8.00pm and 7.00am and 10.00am to 5.00pm, from 1 December to 30 April. At Cowes Main Beach (Mussel Rocks to Erehwon Point) dogs are prohibited at all times.

These potential locations appear to provide the opportunity for equitable use of the beaches, while considering amenity and the environment. Further consultation on the suitability of the locations and potential environmental impacts will be undertaken with Phillip Island Nature Parks, Phillip Island Conservation Society, BirdLife Australia and BirdLife Bass Coast.

The community consultation process to develop Bass Coast Shire Council's Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021 indicated support for more off-leash beach areas within the municipality. In 2019, Council worked with Phillip Island Nature Parks and the San Remo Foreshore Committee of Management to identify new off-leash dog walking areas in San Remo, and in Cape Woolamai and Cowes West on Phillip Island. During this process, Councillors identified Rhyll and Cowes East as being two additional locations with the potential to provide off-leash beach areas and asked Council staff members to try to identify possible beach sites and consult with the community.

Council officers will be popping up on location in Rhyll and Cowes on Saturday, 25 January to answer questions on the potential off-leash areas and to allow people to fill out hard copy surveys, ask questions and provide feedback.

An online survey will be available from Monday, 20 January until Sunday, 16 February at Results from the survey along with community and stakeholder consultation will inform recommendations for the formal designation of off-leash areas on the beach in Rhyll and Cowes East.

For more information or to get a hard copy survey mailed out, please contact the Community Safety Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211.