Protect Our Beaches
say “no” to dogs on beaches

Protecting Station Beach, opp. Palm Beach

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.

COUNCIL DOG OFF-LEASH TRIAL INFO

We say “No” to off-leash & on-leash
dogs at Station Beach, opp. Palm Beach

The Environment

Station Beach is a narrow tidal beach with a protected and endangered seagrass meadow running close to the shoreline with easy access for off-leash dogs.

Any dog activity on Station Beach would have increased pollution from dog waste, and threatened wildlife and marine life, including at low tide, when seagrass beds are exposed.

The Council’s own Review of Environmental Factors (REF) report acknowledged the environmental risk and the NSW Crown Lands and Fisheries preferred an alternative site.

Visual Impact

As a condition of the off-leash trial, the REF recommended that Council install three small marker buoys to define the dog swimming area. Such markers would not reduce the probability of environmental impact.

Traffic and congestion issues

Palm Beach has extremely limited parking, and struggles to meet demand, particularly for visitors. There is one single lane road in and one single lane road out of the peninsula, so the roads get clogged, quickly.

Allowing an on-leash or off-leash dog activity is likely to result in thousands of additional visitors, coming from as far south as Manly and beyond.

These additional visitors will dramatically increase traffic congestion and exacerbate existing parking issues.

Map of Proposed Trial Area