Keep Queens Beach North community friendly with dogs off leash

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The purpose of this petition is to ask Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) for Queens Beach North, Scarborough, to be formally gazetted a dog off-leash area upon completion of the current trial period in March 2019.  The current trial provides for a dog off-leash area any time of day and has arguably been most successful. 

The trial has demonstrated the dog off-leash beach to be of important community benefit including in the following areas:

·        Community spirit – Constituents of MBRC now come to Queens Beach North with their families and dogs to enjoy our natural environment.  Regular visitors to the beach are friendly and make an effort to talk with each other.  This has forged new friendships in the community and has proved to provide a greater sense of community within the local council area.

·        Health and well-being of residents – It is well recognised that a person’s involvement in, and sense of belonging to, a community directly affects their mental health.  Many individuals who previously were not involved in the community are now regular visitors to Queens Beach North with their dogs.

·        Encouragement of active lifestyle – The recent initiatives by the Queensland Government to support active lifestyles are supported by the dogs off-leash trial.  Many dog owners swim with their dogs during summer, and walk the beach while their dogs swim during winter.

·        Increased public use of public space – Before the dog off-leash trial, Queens Beach North was a poorly utilised beach, with few people making use of the beach and environment during the day.  The dogs off-leash trail has seen a much improved use of Queens Beach North, with many more people active in the community.

·        Improved community safety – Residents can now walk along the foreshores of Queens Beach North in the early evening and at night confident in the knowledge that dog owners are likely to be around.  Residents no longer have the problem of unsavoury characters hanging around the toilet block, which was the case before the dog off-leash trial.

Queens Beach North has demonstrated to be the perfect location for a dog off-leash beach with an appropriate volume of parking at an appropriate distance from the road, which also has a reduced speed limit of 40km/h.  In addition, local residents are minimally impacted as they are in a raised position from the carpark at the top of the cliff with a separate local access road facilitating access to their properties.

The dedicated dog off-leash beach has encouraged dog owners to use Queens Beach North rather than simply any beach on the peninsular to exercise their dogs.  This provides residents who prefer to use a beach with no dogs comfort in the knowledge that dogs are now very unlikely to be on other beaches in the area.  Further, the length of Queens Beach North amounts to a very small percentage of the total length of beaches in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area.

Allowing dogs to be on the beach any time of the day has proven beneficial by reducing the concentration of dogs on the beach at the set times of the days, which was the case for the initial trial.  This has allowed all groups to use the beach harmoniously without incident.  A recent example of this was the ‘Introduction to Fishing’ classes held by Moreton Bay Regional Council on Queens Beach North.  This great community initiative by Council co-existed with the dogs on the beach without incident as the volume of dogs on the beach at any point in time was controlled by owners being able to bring their dogs down at times which were most suitable for them. 

The trial of Queens Beach North as a dog off-leash beach has addressed the serious concern of health and safety of the previous area below Flinders Parade between Phillip Street and Murphy Street.  This area is very dangerous for residents as it is out of public view with an unstable cliff face and sharp uneven rocks.  The steep stairs and hill face to this area restrict access to a large sections of the community.

Council’s dedication to improved community outcomes is recognised by the community which use Queens Beach North with their dogs off-leash.  The initial trial which only allowed dogs off-leash between set times demonstrated the concept of the trial to be successful.  This ultimately led to Council expanding the trial to providing for dogs to be allowed off-leash at all times of the day.  This has again proved most successful with no known major incidents and extensive community use of the trial.  Due to the outstanding success of the trials, this petitions asks for Council to formally identify and recognise Queens Beach North as a dog off-leash area at all times of the day on a permanent and ongoing basis.

 


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