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Dogs To Roam Beaches

By Paige Miller

If there’s one thing Corrie Gardner would like to see in the Whitsundays, it’s more off-leash beaches for her two pooches to enjoy.

“I just love to walk my dogs on the beach – it’s one of the greatest joys,” she said.

Yesterday, Ms Gardner received almost exactly that when council agreed to make two beaches off-leash 24/7 and extended the designated off-leash time by one hour at another.

At a meeting in Proserpine yesterday, Division 1 Councillor Jan Clifford put forward a motion to turn Cannonvale Beach, Whisper Bay and Snows Beach into 24/7 off-leash areas over a six-month trial period.

The motion was seconded by Councillor Mike Brunker and was initially carried 7-0. However, Division 2 Councillor Ron Petterson said although he did not disagree with a off-leash dog area, he held concerns for Cannonvale Beach due to its proximity to the children’s playground and he asked for a modification to be made.

Cr Clifford said she understood Cr Petterson’s concerns but the beach was practically 24/7 anyway and implementing regulations would mean the situation would be controlled.

However, after discussion among the councillors, it was decided Cannonvale Beach would continue to have a designated time but extended by an hour making it leash-free from 5-8am.

Cr Clifford said if there were issues or complaints, then it’s “dead and gone, end of story”.

Division 4 Councillor Peter Ramage said there was no way of knowing what a dog might do so it was important to be wary. . “A dog’s a dog. It doesn’t matter how obedient you think they are,” he said.

If no issues arise, the beaches will be made permanently leash-free.

Source: Whitsunday Times.

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