Dogs to stay leashed on Seven Mile Beach

A request to have an off-leash dog area established at Seven Mile Beach, Gerroa, has been rejected by Kiama councillors.

A Facebook petition with 181 "likes" was submitted to Kiama Municipal Council, calling for a section of the northern end of Seven Mile Beach to be declared an off-leash area.

The issue of dogs on the beach at Gerroa has been a source of angst for some residents.

On the day of the official opening of the new $230,000 Gerroa footbridge, fresh graffiti that said "no dogs" was painted on the approach to the bridge.

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Kiama council is the trustee of the Seven Mile Beach Reserve, but not the owner of the reserve.

The issue was referred to the Division of Crown Lands before it was discussed by the council's companion animals advisory committee on November 26.

Crown Lands South Coast area manager Karen Fowler said while a final decision on the suitability of the area was a decision for the council, Crown Lands had previously opposed off-leash areas, refused licences for the exercising of horses and been unsupportive of access to the beach by motor vehicles on the reserve.

Crown Lands said "the continued safe and peaceful enjoyment of this highly used public recreation reserve by individuals, families and children remains current".

Additionally, it noted the reserve contained species listed as vulnerable under the Threatened Species Act.

"Given the potential land use conflicts and environmental protection concerns ... the Crown Lands Division do not support the establishment of a dog off-leash area at the Gerroa end of Seven Mile Beach," Ms Fowler said.

Based on this advice, the council's companion animals advisory committee decided not to pursue the establishment of an off-leash area, adding that such an area already existed at Black Head Reserve.

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