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Summer regulations and new off-leash beaches

Summer regulations and new off-leash beaches

Thursday 21 November 2019

As of Sunday, 1 December summer regulations relating to dogs on beaches will come in to effect.

Bass Coast Shire Council is encouraging beach goers to ensure they are following the regulations by checking the signs at the access points to beaches and reserves or by visiting Council’s website at:

New off-leash beach areas in San Remo, Cape Woolamai, Cowes West will also be introduced from 1 December, while 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 from 1 December.

The new off-leash beach area in San Remo is located at Foots Beach, where dogs can be walked off-leash 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, to the Southport Avenue access track and in Cowes West, it is between the Yacht Club access track and the McKenzie Road access track. Dogs can be walked off-leash in these designated areas, 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.

New signage will be installed at the beach access points and on the beach, identifying the new off-leash areas. Dogs must remain on a leash when walking along tracks through the foreshore. A few things to remember when using the off-leash beach areas with your dog:

  • You need to be carrying a leash and use it immediately if the situation calls for it;
  • Your dog must be under effective voice control at all times;
  • Your dog mustn’t rush, jump on any person or attack any person or animal; and
  • You must keep your dog in sight at all times.

Dog owners using the new off-leash areas in San Remo and Phillip Island must also 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. Failure to follow these rules may result in enforcement action.

Council also provides two inland off-leash options in Wonthaggi at the Strickland Street Reserve and in Cowes at Blue Gum Reserve.

Council Officers will be patrolling beaches, off-leash areas and parks throughout the summer period to make sure everyone is doing the right thing and having a great time. Where appropriate, Council Officers will issue infringement notices to dog owners who are found doing the wrong thing.

All dogs must be on a leash when out in public and not in a designated off-leash area. Failure to do so can result in an infringement of $165. You must also pick up after your dog when out in public and carry bags with which to do so. Failure to pick up after your dog or carry bags carries an infringement of up to $200.

For more information, please contact Council’s Community Safety Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 or visit