Dogs On Lead Or Off Lead At Boat Harbour?

Three lovely locals enjoying a romp off lead.

 

WHILE residents struggle to understand why there are changes to dog on-lead and off-lead areas for Boat Harbour, Port Stephens Council has cited environmental issues alongside amenity to the headland.

It has become a contentious issue which is causing considerable stress to some dog owners.

Nearly 50% of households in Australia now have a dog.

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Brock Lamont, Community and Recreation Coordinator, Port Stephens Council has advised, “Council along with State Government agencies collect data on threatened fauna and flora sightings.

“The Boat Harbour southern headland and the surrounding area contains a number of these sightings associated with the White Bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus) and Koala (Phascolarctos cinerus).

“The vegetation on the headland provides habitat for a number of species, threatened or otherwise.

“Whilst these above records exist, this data is one of many points considered by Council when proposing changes to the current dog exercise mapping.

“Council has recognised that the current mapping is not an accurate or suitable reflection of how the off-lead exercise area is used.

“The amended mapping maintains dog access to the entire headland, albeit with a mixture of on-lead and off-lead.

“The intent of the changes is to strike a balance between dog exercise regulations, environmental protection and improving the amenity of the area for other recreational users,” he said.

Concerned resident Elizabeth Scheimer told News Of The Area, “I had documented the plants with an Aboriginal horticulturalist; the Council’s reasoning is so ludicrous I am suspicious of the real motive.

“These birds fly out the front of my house too.

“There are no koalas in that region and when one was seen on the road here it was rescued and returned to One Mile as there are no trees for them here,” she said.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

An aerial view of the headland where dog walkers are disputing Council’s proposed changes.

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