Get dogs off family beach, say locals
A 12-month trial of a dog on-leash area at The Serpentine at East Ballina, should be scrapped say nearby residents.
Margaret Redman said the family-friendly beach was an ideal place for young children, but the addition of dogs was creating a dangerous situation.
Dogs were previously banned from the beach.
"To introduce dogs to this beach, where there are always little toddlers playing, is a bad mix," she said.
"Also the dogs' fecal matter is a serious health hazard.
"It gets left buried in the sand and kids might accidentally come across it when they're playing in the sand."
Another nearby resident, Ann Flick, said she was also worried about the safety of children if dogs continued to be allowed at The Serpentine.
She said many people who brought their dogs down to the beach did not keep them on leashes.
"I've once saw a little girl chased down by a dog ... she was obviously very frightened and crying," Ms Flick said.
Kay Whistler said there were plenty of other beaches in the Ballina Shire that were open to dogs and Lys Miller said the residents would not have a problem if the beach was not so popular with young families.
"The bottom line is that we want families to come here," she said.
"There is nowhere else safe for them to go in Ballina."
Mrs Redman spoke at the Ballina Shire Council meeting on Thursday, asking for the 12-month trial of the dog on-leash area at The Serpentine to be reduced to three months.
"This is also an important place for pied oystercatchers," she said.
"These birds are being hounded by dogs ... it is urgent that the council do something to fix this problem."
The on-leash trial was approved by the council in August.
Council general manager Paul Hickey said he would prepare a report on the matter for the November meeting.