Changes to access at Redhead Beach are aiming to strike a greater balance between general beach users and people with dogs.
Lake Macquarie City Council today announced signage will be installed from today which outlines new rules prohibiting dogs between First and Second Creek – a stretch of beach previously designated as an on-lead area.
The off-leash area south of Second Creek will remain in place.
Council Section Manager Community Assets, Rob Morris said the Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy adopted earlier this year outlined the need for change.
“Feedback collected during two rounds of community consultation, as well as feedback from lifeguards and other stakeholders, led us to this decision,” he said.
“Many dog owners weren’t always keeping their dogs on-lead between First and Second Creek, and the northern movement of First Creek meant there was sometimes a relatively small stretch of Redhead Beach available for people who didn’t want to interact with dogs.”
New signs will be installed at Redhead Beach, Webb Park and other access points, using a clear colour code system to show where dogs are allowed.
Dog owners can walk their dog on-lead to one of the three main access paths from Webb Park, Cain Street car park or Cain Street Reserve.
“We know this is a significant change for dog owners, many of whom love taking their four-legged friends to the beach,” Mr Morris said.
“However, it’s important to note that the stretch of beach south of Second Creek remains one of the region’s largest off-lead areas for dogs.
“These changes will help increase enjoyment for all beach users, and provide a clearer guideline for where dogs can and can’t go.”
Mr Morris said Council rangers would visit the beach regularly in coming weeks to help familiarise visitors with the new zones.
“We will be taking an informative approach for the first six weeks as people adjust to the change,” he said.
“Rangers will be on-site during this time to ensure people are aware of the changes and understand future implications if they don’t comply with the new arrangements. After that, we will issue warnings for a further period before considering fines where appropriate.”
Similar signs, using a clear red (dogs prohibited), amber (dogs on-lead) and green (dogs off-lead) system, are set to be rolled out to other off-leash areas across Lake Macquarie.
Mr Morris said the Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy identified 10 new off-leash areas to be delivered throughout the city over the next 10 years.
High priority locations include Edgeworth, the Myuna Bay foreshore and Nords Wharf Oval.