Frequently Asked
Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Station Beach?

Station Beach is on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach, next to The Boathouse café, in front of the Palm Beach Golf Course and a short distance from the Barrenjoey Lighthouse which sits within the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Station Beach is a family beach popular with residents and visitors. It doesn’t have waves, so provides a safe environment for families, particularly those with young children.

Are dogs allowed on the beach now?

No, dogs are not currently allowed on the beach. However, dogs are already regularly seen off leash in the area, prompting concerns about the numbers of dogs that will roam on Station Beach off leash if the trial goes ahead.

What is being proposed?

The Council is seeking community feedback on a proposal to run a trial allowing dogs to roam off leash on Station Beach (on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach) at certain times of the day.

The trial will require the permanent installation of unsightly boundary markers on the shoreline of Station Beach, along with signage and around 30 other extraordinarily complex and costly environmental mitigation measures. These measures will visually deface the shoreline, are unworkable and reinforce that Station Beach is an inappropriate site for this trial.

How will the environment be impacted?

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. It has high environmental significance.

Off leash dogs pose a range of risks to the environment, including damage to the endangered seagrass meadow via

  • Direct trampling,
  • disturbance of the soft sediment habitats that support the beds when swimming
  • contamination from dog faeces,

Off-leash dogs can also disturb wildlife including migratory birds.

Council has released its own Review of Environmental Factors (REF) report which acknowledges these risks, but attempts to address them by instigating a complex set of over 30 mitigation measures.

A proposed trial for the same site was rejected by Council on environmental grounds in 2008.

Palm Beach Protection Group has released a response to Council’s REF, as well as a summary of the response

Why does the Palm Beach Protection Group oppose the trial?

Other major beachside Councils in Sydney do not allow dogs on any of their beaches, including Randwick (i.e. Coogee, Clovelly and Maroubra beaches) and Waverley (i.e. Bondi, Bronte and Clovelly beaches).

We believe this trial would increase ocean pollution, threaten birdlife, increase the risk of unprovoked dog attacks on families and children and create traffic congestion and parking problems at Palm Beach.

We want to stop the trial from proceeding, because we believe it would:

  • Increase pollution from dog waste, impacting the pristine eco-system and unrestrained dogs would threaten wildlife including birds, marine life such as sea horses that are endemic to NSW and seagrass.
  • Deface the shoreline with the installation of permanent and unsightly boundary markers along the beach to define the dogs swim area. This will have an unnecessary visual impact on Station Beach which is a beautiful stretch of shoreline.
  • Increase the likelihood of an unprovoked dog attack, impacting the safety of children, visitors and residents – figures from the first half of 2018 show there were 693 dog attacks in Sydney, including 38 on the Northern Beaches.
  • Dramatically increase traffic congestion, with potentially thousands of families and visitors from as far south as Manly drawn to the beach to allow their dogs to roam off leash.
What other dog parks are available to local dog owners?

There are already 28 off leash dog parks in the Northern Beaches Council area alone.

Dogs are currently allowed off leash at nearby Careel Bay at Pittwater, but the Council is now having to undertake rectification works to cope with the environmental impacts of dogs in this area. Local residents at Careel Bay have also reported that dogs have killed birdlife at Careel Bay and dog owners regularly ignore the boundaries of the allowed off leash area.

We believe allowing dogs to roam off leash on Station Beach at Palm Beach would set a very dangerous precedent. There is already a similar proposal for Avalon Beach Reserve, and others are being discussed. 

What action do we want?

We want to stop the proposed trial to allow dogs off leash on Station Beach, on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach.

We’re asking for your support to say no to Council’s proposed off leash dog trial on Station Beach.

How can I participate in the debate?

There are three things you can do.

  1. Contact the Northern Beaches Council and state your opposition to the trial. They have set up a dedicated feedback form on their website in advance of the Council vote on 27 August 2019
  2. Share this website with family and friends so they can have their say
  3. Follow our campaign:
    1. Subscribe to our email updates
    2. Follow our Facebook page
When will decisions be made?

The Northern Beaches Council will make a decision on whether to proceed with the trial after public submissions close on 12 July, 2019 at 3pm.

The Council will vote on the issue at the Council meeting on Tuesday, 27 August, 2019.

For more information, please contact info@protectpalmbeach.com.au

Who is the Palm Beach Protection Group?

We are a grassroots community-based group who love Palm Beach and want to make sure our pristine beaches are preserved for future generations.