Pups get new places to play off lead in Port Stephens

Dogs playing off lead at Birubi Beach.


AFTER extensive community consultation and feedback, Port Stephens Council has introduced new dog off lead rules at Anna Bay and is trialling changes at Boat Harbour.

The changes will mean dogs and their owners will now be able to enjoy Birubi Beach off lead at all times between May and September and as well as between 5pm and 9am from October to April.

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Community and Recreation Coordinator Brock Lamont says consultation has been key to the changes.

“We know people love being able to exercise their dogs in the many beautiful locations we have in Port Stephens.

“We also need to balance this with the way that other members of the community like to use these spaces,” he said.

“We asked our community in May what they thought of proposed changes to dog off lead areas in Anna Bay, Boat Harbour and Fishermans Bay and had a great response from these communities.

“The feedback from dog owners and non-dog owners alike was really constructive and helped us come up with a plan that is equitable for all users.

“As a result, dogs will be permitted off lead on Birubi Beach from May to September, outside the lifeguard patrol season.

Meanwhile, Port Stephens Council are trialling an off-leash dog area at Boat Harbour for three months.

During August and September 2021, dogs will be permitted off and on leashes at all times on the beach at Boat Harbour.

In October, dogs will be permitted off leash between 5pm and 9am, and permitted on leash at all times.

“Council has also decided to trial changes that will allow dogs off lead at Boat Harbour beach at certain times,” said Mr Lamont.

“We’re encouraging people who use Boat Harbour beach to let us know what they think of the changes so that we can make an informed decision at the end of the trial.”

“We’ve put new signs up at Birubi and temporary signage at Boat Harbour, with the hope of hosting a community event in the coming months to help educate the community about the changes,” he said.

Dogs will be permitted to cross the prohibited part of the beach, on the condition that they are on a lead.

The playground and BBQ area are off-limits to dogs, and dogs must be under the control of a competent person.

Dogs in the off-lead area must be able to obey commands and come when called.

Owners must pick up their dogs’ poo and dispose of it in the bin.

Dangerous dogs (declared by Council) must not use the off-leash area.

Port Stephens Council Rangers can be contacted on (02) 4988 0255.

Find out more about the changes and have your say at https://haveyoursay.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/dog-off-lead-review

View dog parks and off lead areas in Port Stephens at https://www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/play/recreation-in-port-stephens/cycling-and-dog-park-maps/dog-parks.

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