On 27 August 2019, Council resolved to proceed with a dog off-leash area trial at Station Beach, Palm Beach for 12 months. The trial was due to commence in December 2019, however, the motion is before the courts on planning and environmental issues.
However, on 17 December 2019, Council resolved to allow dogs on-leash at Station Beach which has the effect of amending the former Pittwater Council Dog Control Policy and permitting dogs on-leash at Station Beach between the hours of 4.00pm to 10.30am, Monday to Sunday (AEST non-day light saving time) and 5.30pm to 10.30am, Monday to Friday (AEST daylight saving time).
The Palm Beach Protection Group remains unsatisfied with this outcome and questions the Council’s capacity to manage the use of the area in accordance with the Review of Environmental Factors report that was commissioned as part of the consultation process for the trial. Ongoing compliance breaches of on-leash dogs on Station Beach and in close proximity to the seagrass, reinforces our concerns. The once family-friendly Station Beach is now becoming an unsafe dogs beach.
The introduction of both the on-leash and trial off-leash dog swimming area at Station Beach is inconsistent with Council’s long held environmental position in this area, considering Station Beach is home to the largest seagrass bed in the Pittwater estuary and nurtures a diverse marine life habitat that includes the white seahorse.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Crown Lands) is the delegated authority for issuing a licence agreement for the dog off-leash area trial. No such licence has been issued in respect of the proposed off-leash trial and current on-leash activity on Station Beach. Crown Lands has a preference for alternative, less environmentally sensitive sites. NSW Fisheries also has a preference for the use of ocean beaches rather than estuary beaches as impact on the marine life and environment is considered far less on ocean beaches.
We remain committed to protecting Station Beach for generations to come.