DOG owners will be allowed to take their pooches on a leash onto Warrnambool’s main beach for an extra two months and there will be a similar extension at the Blue Hole Reserve for off-leash exercise.
City councillors this week approved recommendations to change two sections of the local laws schedule which will relax restrictions on the two popular foreshore areas.
Under the altered laws, dogs will be allowed on- leash on the main beach between the Flume and Breakwater between April 1 and November 30, but prohibited in the busier summer tourist season from December 1 to March 31.
At the Blue Hole Reserve on the eastern banks from Hopkins River bridge to the mouth, canines will be allowed off-leash from April 1 to November 30, but must be on-leash from December 1 to March 31.
All-year off-leash exercise on the beach between the Flume and Hopkins River mouth and on Logans Beach will continue.
Laws on exercising horses remain unchanged, allowing galloping between the Harbour Pavilion and surf clubhouse from March 1 to November 30 between dawn and 10am.
Horse swimming between the Harbour Pavilion and 150 metres towards the surf clubhouse will remain all-year round between dawn and 10am.
“The proposed changes would provide some additional access for dog owners without much disruption to other beach users or general amenity of the area,” council infrastructure director Peter Robertson said.
“A number of (other) councils were consulted on dog restrictions in their municipalities.”
Mr Robertson said the changes would be implemented within days and managed by local laws officers.
While the move is likely to please dog owners, there are likely to be objections, judging by an email sent to the council by a local resident on Monday.
“The resident wanted bans on dogs all the time because you can’t always have responsible owners — some people let their dogs off the leash,” mayor Cr Mike Neoh said.
Cr Peter Hulin said his preference was to allow dogs on-leash on the beach at all times, like in some parts of Europe where dogs are allowed in restaurants and shops.