At the Council meeting on 28 June 2022, the elected Council resolved to authorise the CEO to facilitate any required amendments to the draft Review of Environmental Factors report for the potential off-leash dog area at Palm Beach (north) and Mona Vale (south) in preparation for the report’s public exhibition and community consultation for a period of 28 days. The motion also noted that relevant government agencies would be consulted during this process.
In the draft Review of Environmental Factors report tabled in the meeting, an extensive report on the historical recreational uses of both Palm Beach and Mona Vale have been included as a means to validate the proposed activities. The report also states that off-leash dog activity is unlikely to have any significant impact on the environment, subject to significant assumptions and the incorporation of mitigation and management safeguards. This qualification is key to the degree of impact on the environment and is almost impossible to practically manage, as was demonstrated during the Station Beach off-leash trial.
Due to the requirements of relevant legislation and the complexity of land ownership between various Government departments, Council is also required to undertake consultation with various government agencies, including Crown Lands. This process should be undertaken ahead of the community consultation and not run in parallel, as any concerns from these agencies may have a bearing on public perception of the proposed off-leash dog activity.
The Palm Beach Protection Group remains adamant that rigorous process must be undertaken by Council regarding off-leash dog activity for the sake of ensuring that our beach environment is protected for future generations.