Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Amended Companion Animals Control Areas Procedure

Dog off leash.Council resolved on the 27 August 2018 to amend the Companion Animals Control Areas Procedure to clarify Dog Prohibited Areas and Dog Off Leash Areas. The amended procedure will be on exhibition for 28 days from 6 November until 4 December 2018.

Submissions regarding the amended procedure are invited and should be addressed to the General Manager by any one of the following methods:

Document on Exhibition

Submissions must be received by close of business Tuesday 4 December 2018.

Comments can be left at the bottom of this page.

Executive Summary

The revised Companion Animals Control Areas Procedure is presented for Council’s consideration, based on feedback and queries on the previous version presented on 19 September 2018. Officers have worked to simplify the Procedure and utilise maps to better explain to the public areas where dogs are prohibited, noting Council’s particular concerns around public bathing areas.

It is important to note the provisions in the Companion Animal Act 1998 (NSW) (the Act) apply unless Council puts in place dog prohibited areas as allowed under Section 14 of the Act.

In addition, Section 13 of the Act states: “Responsibilities while dog in public place: (1) A dog that is in a public place must be under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person.”. This means that in all public places, unless a dog is prohibited by the Act or a Council Order then a dog must be under effective control as described.


Council at its Ordinary Meeting of 19 September 2018 unanimously resolved:

“1.     That Council defer the matter for further revision of wording and that this review specifically deals with accessibility access to on and off leash areas with a report back to Council for subsequent release to the community for feedback.

2.       That Council write to the NSW State Government requesting a review of the Companion Animal Act particularly highlighting the significance that animals play in the health and wellbeing of regional and rural communities.”

In relation to accessibility, as outlined above, a dog can be taken to any public area where dogs are not otherwise prohibited as long as they are under “…effective control…” as per Section 13 of the Act, thus people with limited mobility or a disability can take a dog to many areas of the Shire where hard surfaces allow for ease of access. (i.e. many footpaths and walking tracks such as Bermagui foreshore, Pambula to Merimbula path, Aslings beach path etc.). Short Point Headland is probably the most accessible off leash area given recent track works, however it may be possible with small modifications to improve accessibility of some areas or identify other areas that could provide accessible dog off leash areas. In addition, depending on the level of mobility, a number of the beaches listed as off leash areas also provide firm footing at low tides that allow for access. Each person’s circumstances will be different and they need to determine what best suits them, however Officers believe the current number and variety of off leash areas gives the community choice across the Shire.

The Mayor wrote to the Hon. Gabrielle Upton MP, Minister for Local Government on the 4 October 2018 as per Resolution 2, raising a number of concerns about the impact of the Act on resident’s ability to actively enjoy life with their dogs. At the time of publication of the Business Paper no response had been received.


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    Comments (2)

  • I have examined the exhibited document and would like to make my concerns regarding the fact that the Bermagui Headland is a "dog off the lead" area. I often take my grandchildren to the headland for a picnic lunch in the school holidays and the dogs off the lead in the area could be a scaring experience for them. especially see one of them has a phobia regarding dogs.. With the beaches in the area being "off the lead" areas I would suggest there is no need to include the Bermagui Headland as an "off the lead" area.

    I note from the other areas in the Shire there is no other reserve where there are picnic tables sited for the use of residents and tourists.

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  • I have read trough the document but have not found any Information in regards to what is commonly known as the Dolphin Cove beach access area which continues along the beach towards Bournda Island and becomes ,approx. 300 mtr. north of the access steps ,National Parks. My concern has been and is,that this beach access area from 2 headland sides at Dolphin Cove is used by Dog owners and seems to be presumed as a leash free area. Can you please advise what you are proposing for this area and what signage and staff availability you will have to do consistent monitoring. Thanks so much

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