Keep Queens Beach North dog free

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Moreton Bay Regional Council has extended the times for dogs being allowed off-leash on Queens Beach North beach, Scarborough, to 24 hours a day. We are campaigning to have the beach declared out of bounds to dogs for the following reasons:

  •          Dogs are harassing people attempting to enter and leave the water as well as beach walkers
  •          They are also harassing fishers going about their peaceful recreation on the beach
  •          Dogs are interfering with beach-goers’ belongings on the beach, including urinating on them
  •          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 smell. They are therefore a hazard to swimmers
  •          Dogs interfere with resting shorebirds who have migrated from the Russian Far East along the East Asia-Australasian Shorebirds Flyway in contravention to the Shorebirds Convention (The Bonn Convention)
  •          Dogs interfere with other creatures on or near the beach including pelicans, turtles and crabs. There have been no sightings of pelicans or turtles since the off-leash trial was instituted
  •          Many dogs fight on or near the beach, creating a public nuisance
  •          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 allowing them to interfere with cyclists, runners and walkers on the footpath, many of them in family groups with small children
  •          Owners are also unable to prevent their dogs going on the road on Flinders Parade and becoming a traffic hazard
  •          Many irresponsible owners fail to pick up their dogs’ waste with the resultant risk to human health, particularly for children, such as Giardia and other gut infections which can persist in the environment. Some dogs defecate in the water putting swimmers at a considerable health risk
  •          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 – or unwilling - to pick up their dog’s waste on the beach
  •          Queens Beach North 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. It therefore should be kept for families and others who wish to use the beach for recreation
  •          Queens Beach North is a favourite place for kite surfers. Dogs have been observed interfering with kite-surfers and damaging their kites
  •          Queens Beach North is also a favourite site for canoeists and kayakers practising their safety and rescue skills. Dogs have been interfering with their activities
  •          Skydivers/parachutists also land in the area. Dogs interfering with landing parachutists can have tragic consequences.

Of course, it is likely to be only a minority of dogs and their irresponsible owners who are creating these problems. However, the only way to eliminate the problems is to ban all dogs from the beach.

We are also concerned that the Moreton Bay Regional Council did not engage in, and continues to not engage in, any public consultation process at all in regards to the dog off-leash trial.

Many runners, walkers, swimmers, other beach users and picnickers now avoid Queens Beach North for fear of being interfered with by dogs. This is disappointing considering the considerable public infrastructure (BBQs, picnic shelters, change rooms, etc) erected on the foreshore in recent years. There are plenty of dog off-leash areas in the region without spoiling our once-were-wonderful beaches.

Having dogs on any Redcliffe beach, especially dogs off-leash, is in obvious contradiction to council’s recent tourist promotion policy. Nothing would prevent tourists from returning more than to be molested by a dog on a beach. A beach can either be a place for people or dogs – it cannot be both.