On 20 November 2020, the NSW Land and Environment Court handed down its decision that declared the Northern Beaches Council’s resolutions of 27 August 2019 and 17 December 2019, which purported to authorise an off-leash dog trial for 12 months on Station Beach and, by the December decision, purported to permit dogs on-leash on Station Beach, invalid and quashed those decisions. The Court found that Council, in its consideration of the activity of allowing dogs on Station Beach, did not examine or take into account to the fullest extent possible all matters affecting or likely to affect the environment by reason of the activity, noting that dog activity is likely to significantly impact the environment.
At its December 2020 meeting, the Northern Beaches Council confirmed during a closed session of its meeting that no further action would be pursued in respect to the 2019 on-leash and off-leash dog resolutions for Station Beach. This in effect has meant that the Station Beach seagrass population and beach have been protected for the future. Dogs are once again prohibited on Station beach.
The Palm Beach Protection Group has welcomed this outcome, which follows eighteen months of advocacy that questioned the Council’s process to assess the environmental risks on Station Beach. Station Beach is home to the largest seagrass community in the Pittwater estuary, which includes the threatened Posidonia australis seagrass population that nurtures a diverse habitat of marine life, including the threatened White’s seahorse.
The Palm Beach Protection Group will continue in its quest to protect and preserve Station Beach for future generations.