Dogs on beaches are causing issues, says Greg Barnes.
Dogs on beaches are causing issues, says Greg Barnes. Susanna Freymark

Barnes airs concerns over dogs on beaches

VITAL turtle nests and a popular beach are being terrorised by dogs as irresponsible owners keep breaking the rules.

Bundaberg Regional Council division 5 representative Greg Barnes took to social media on Monday saying the problem continued even after warnings of fines at the end of last year. The councillor said he had multiple reports from community members about people breaking the rules and letting their pets run off the leash at Archies Beach.

He said the reports included unsupervised dogs heading up the dunes and digging up turtle nests to get to the eggs.

"I understand that people want to let their dogs off for a run and a swim, but the situation at Archies is creating an issue," Cr Barnes said.

"Whilst dogs are allowed on the beach (it's not a gazetted bathing reserve) they must be kept on a leash."

Cr Barnes said while he was on his "soapbox" he reminded the community to pick up after their dogs.

In November the council said it was tightening the laws after an increasing number of complaints and would enforce on-the-spot fines of $261 for dogs off leash on beaches.

Although no fines have been issued to pet owners walking dogs off leash in recent months the council said the community needed to be aware they could be hit with a on-the-spot fines of $261.

Council's animal management spokesman Scott Rowleson said officers took every opportunity to speak with residents and raise awareness about the impacts of ignoring the rules and how it could impact environmentally sensitive areas.

Cr Rowleson said under local law dogs were banned from entering bathing reserves and that, aside from designated off-leash sections of Woodgate Beach, dogs must be restrained when frequenting any other area of the region's beaches.

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