The recommendations in Appendix C, p.27 of the Review of Environment Factors 2019, commissioned by Council for the proposed off-leash area trial, notes that:
a) Given the widespread damage to the seagrass bed from other human disturbances off Station Beach, any further damage from disturbances by dog swimming should be avoided. This would be consistent with the conservation advice for P. australis ecological community in Pittwater from the Commonwealth of Australia Department of the Environment (2015)
b) Serious consideration should be given to whether the introduction of a dog swimming area at Station Beach adjacent to the largest seagrass bed in the Pittwater estuary is consistent with the intent of the legislative and policy commitments provided in Section 2.1.1 of this report and Northern Beaches Council own Draft Pittwater Waterway Strategy.
We hold the opinion that Council’s realistic assessment of its capacity to manage the off-leash trial according to the REF’s recommendations should determine whether Station Beach is an appropriate site. Council’s decision to conduct the trial should not be driven by the large number of submissions from the general public in favour of the trial, and promoted by the local dog activist group.