New Island off-leash beaches introduced
New off-leash beach areas in San Remo, Cape Woolamai, Cowes West and Ventnor will be introduced from 1 December 2019, in time for the coming summer season.
Earlier in the year, Council carried out extensive community consultation for the introduction of new off-leash beach areas for Phillip Island, which received a huge response.
The results of this consultation highlighted overwhelming support for off-leash beach areas in San Remo, Cape Woolamai, Cowes West, Newhaven and for the provision of 24/7 off-leash beach access at Ventnor.
Due to concerns for nesting and feeding shore birds, neither of the proposed off-leash areas for Newhaven were considered appropriate and were therefore not included.
The new off-leash beach area in San Remo is on Foots Beach, accessible from the end of Back Beach Road through Lions Park. Dogs can be walked off-leash in the designated area, except between 10.00am and 6.00pm from 1 December to 28 February and during the Easter School Holidays, when no dogs are allowed on the beach.
At Cape Woolamai, the new off-leash area is located from the Palm Beach Avenue access track, 350 metres south to the Southport Avenue access track. Dogs can be walked off-leash in the designated area, except between 1 December to 30 April, when dogs are only allowed on the beach between 7.00am and 10.00am and 5.00pm and 8.00pm.
At Cowes West, the new off-leash area is located between the Yacht Club access track and the McKenzie Road access track. Dogs can be walked off-leash in the designated area, except between 1 December and 30 April, when dogs are only allowed on the beach between 7.00am and 10.00am and 5.00pm and 8.00pm.
From 1 December 2019, the existing Ventnor off-leash area, between the Ventnor Beach Road and Graydens Road will be available throughout the whole year, with no time restrictions.
An additional requirement for dog owners using these new off-leash areas will mean that they must be able to bring their dog under effective control within 50 metres of a signed threatened species wildlife refuge area. This additional requirement allows for Hooded Plover nesting sites to be supported in the future, if they nest within a designated off-leash area.
New signage will be installed at the beach access points and on the beach, identifying the new off-leash areas. Council’s website has also been updated to reflect the new off-leash areas and regulations.
Further community consultation will be completed over the next 12 months, to identify potential off-leash beach areas in Cowes East and Rhyll.
For more information on off-leash beach areas, visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/dogwalking.