Dogs get to enjoy Minnamurra River but on leash

The  Minnamurra River is a popular recreational site, especially for fishing and kayaking.

Later this year, dogs swimming on leashes will be added to the recreational mix thanks to a recent decision by Kiama Municipal Council.

The estuary is described by the Office of Environment and Heritage as being in good condition "but under pressure" and a review of the 2003 management plan for the area is under way.

Kiama council is calling for the community to say what it values about the Minnamurra River and its catchment and to put forward any issues people would like included for consideration in the development of the new plan.

The process will consider the future risks to the estuary including the predicted effects of climate change.

A council spokeswoman said the review would cover the area considered to be the Minnamurra River Catchment, which includes the tidal waterways, foreshore and adjacent land.

"By completing a survey on the council website by August 29, people will go into the draw to win a $50 Coles Myer voucher," the spokeswoman said.

"The Minnamurra River Coastal Zone Management Plan will be compiled and released for public comment before adoption by council."

In July, Kiama councillors resolved to allow dogs to swim "on leash" in the Minnamurra River on a trial basis, despite opposition from government agencies and council staff.

Councillors voted 5-3 for a six-month trial, starting in September, allowing dogs to swim from Trevethan Reserve "between the two bridges" before 9am and after 5pm.

Councillors rejected a suggestion that the dog swimming issue form part of the review of the Minnamurra Estuary Management Plan.

The Office of Environment and Heritage said while the Minnamurra River was a regionally significant estuary for migratory and resident shorebirds, it was not for any threatened species.

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