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Local law review to target Esplanades' on-leash dog areas

TIGHTENING enforcement along the Esplanade or using body-cameras to capture non-compliant dog owners were just some of the proposals to target non-compliance of local laws along the Esplanade.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council will look to review its existing legislation around on-leash dog areas on the Esplanade, after reports alleged of a number of issues with unleashed dogs along the foreshore.

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In an 8-3 vote at Monday's Council meeting, a motion was passed to keep the current zoning arrangements of on-leash areas in place, and refer any recommendation for an amendment for further community consultation.

Cr Stuart Taylor sought to amend the second proposal to allow for further community consultation under the next local law review, noting the appropriate timing for consultation.

"There have been changes from the State Government regarding access for dogs in outdoor dining areas in cafes. It's appropriate timing to review local laws and make sure they are functioning properly," he said.

Cr Taylor also cited a high level of non-compliance with local laws in the area, supported by observations from Council staff, for his proposal.

"We either choose to enforce the laws or change the laws to fit society's expectations. There are obviously different views that there should be changes to the local law," he said.

Council amended its local laws and subordinate laws in 2015.

Up to 212 dog-related complaints have been registered from the area since July 2013, ranging from owners not complying with leash regulations to dogs accessing prohibited areas.

While the report concluded the current balance of dog access areas was reasonable, Cr Denis Chapman floated the idea of compliance officers having cameras to record encounters with non-compliant owners.

"When...officers actually talk to people...when an incident like this happens, we've got a recording of it," he said.

Currently, dogs are allowed in 76.9% of the Esplanade, with the remaining percentage comprising of prohibited areas.

What do you think about using body-cameras to capture non-compliant dog owners along on-leash areas of the Esplanade? Join the discussion and tell us below. 

Topics:  dogs esplanade fraser coast fraser coast regional council



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