Keep our beaches dog free

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Moreton Bay Regional Council has introduced a trial dog off-leash area at Queens Beach North Scarborough. We need to oppose this for the following reasons:

Dogs are harassing swimmers attempting to enter and exit the water

Dogs are interfering with beach-goers’ belongings on the beach

Some dogs swim in the water with some of them at considerable distance from the shore. Swimming dogs are known shark attractants given their rapid movements in the water and their body smell. They are therefore a hazard to swimmers

Dogs interfere with other creatures on or near the beach including migrating shorebirds, turtles and crabs

Queens Beach North does not have perimeter fencing which park-based dog off-leash areas have. Therefore, the owners of dogs off-leash are not easily able to confine them to the beach area leaving many of them to interfere with cyclists, runners and walkers on the footpath, many of them in family groups with small children

Owners are also often unable to prevent their dogs going on the road on Flinders Parade thereby becoming a traffic hazard

Queens Beach North is some 700 metres long and the more energetic dogs quickly become separated from their owners who are often unaware of their dog’s actions, including defecating and being unaware of the need to pick up their dog’s waste on the beach

Queens Beach North is relatively rock free and is the only beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula where swimmers can enter and leave the water safely at any state of the tide without stubbing their feet on rocks. Therefore we believe that it should be kept for families and others who wish to swim and undertake other water-based activities

A particularly upsetting possible outcome of having an unfenced dog off-leash area is the danger posed to guide dogs. A recent report has stated that 50 percent of seeing-eye dogs, or guide dogs, have been attacked by off-leash dogs with some of them unable to work anymore.

I do not wish to suggest that all dogs are untrained or that all owners are irresponsible, but the clear fact is that many are, and they make life hard for the rest.

It would appear that Queens Beach North is to be either a people’s beach or a dogs’ beach. It cannot be both.

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