OPINION – Council should explain dog laws

DEAR News Of The Area,

RECENTLY Coffs ABC morning radio talked about the Solitary Islands Walk and mentioned walking it with a dog.

Also there have been television news stories of dachshunds being walked on a local Coffs beach and It occurred to me that others, like me, would be unaware of the rules concerning dogs in Coffs Harbour.

Some weeks ago I was fined by Coffs council rangers $330 for walking a small de-sexed and micro-chipped dog on a lead on an almost deserted Diggers Beach, which is part of Solitary Islands Walk from Sawtell to Red Rock.

The rangers insisted on fining me even though I explained that the dog belonged to someone else, away on holidays and overseas. I was just helping look after it for a few weeks.

I also pleaded that I was unaware that dogs on leads are not allowed and I had not seen any signs prohibiting dogs.

I have since seen signs in the car parks, but I don’t normally walk through them.

No amount of pleading – lack of signage, not knowing – mattered. I doubt Albo nor Toto would have fared any better.

Council rangers are in a difficult position having to enforce such a law.

It’s a case of a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

I did ask the mayor and the general manager to explain why they thought these laws are needed, but I have not received a response.

These rules need explaining so the public has a better understanding of why they are needed.


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