Lennox surf club calls for dog ban

IT IS dog owners versus surf club members at Lennox Head.

Tensions between the two groups have now come to a head, with the management committee of the Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Club demanding Ballina Shire Council completely ban dogs in the area surrounding their clubhouse.

Surf club president Wayne Jones said they wanted the council to review its dog policy for the area ‘as a matter of urgency’.

“There have been changes in the beach access arrangements for people with dogs,” he said.

“As a result, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of dogs off their leashes near the surf club. These dogs defecate on the lawns and they urinate on our skis and other equipment.

“We believe that it’s a real concern and a major health issue.

“Young children also approach the dogs and are often growled and barked at. The owners of the dogs don’t do anything about it.

“Nippers start (this) weekend and we will have more than 300 kids on the lawns and on the beach.

“The extreme risk is that one of them will get bitten by a dog.”

In a letter to the council, Mr Jones warned the situation could easily get out of control.

“The level of tension between dog owners and club members is rising,” he wrote. “There are serious hygiene risks associated with dogs defecating and urinating on equipment and on the grassy area at the front of the club house.”

The issue of banning dogs near the Lennox Head surf club was discussed at the B Ward committee meeting recently, but a vote resulted in a tie. It was instead resolved council’s manager of open spaces and reserves, Jillian Pratten, would write a report for the October council meeting so councillors could make a decision.

“This is an issue relating to a lack of compliance,” she said.

“The area around the surf club is a place where you are meant to keep your dogs on a leash. But a lot of people don’t, unfortunately. That results in a conflict of uses between surf club members and dog owners.”

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