A ban on dogs on leads on part of the Woolooware Bay Shared Pathway within or directly adjacent to the Taren Point Shorebird Community will be lifted - but only when a range of mitigation measures are in place.
In the meantime, if council officers find anyone walking a dog on a lead on the one kilometre long section they will be dealt with "via education". If dogs are found off-lead, owners face fines.
Sutherland Shire Council unanimously agreed on the change at its meeting on Monday night.
The area, between Atkinson Road and beyond Woolooware Shores Retirement Village is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
Government approvals obtained to build this pathway were on the basis dogs would not be permitted along this section.
The council decided in October 2021 to prepare a Review of Environmental Factors Addendum to examine the option of adjusting the control to permit dogs to be walked on-lead along the entire shared path, and to seek community feedback on the proposal.
An independent consultant prepared the review, which concluded that on-leash dog walking could occur with appropriate protection and mitigation measures.
The review attracted 229 submissions when it was placed on public exhibition from April 6-27, of which 115 supported the change and 114 were opposed.
A report by council staff recommended the option to permit dogs on lead with appropriate mitigation measures proceed.
The report said the review provided some mitigation measures, but it was not known how effective they would be, and further measures could be needed.
Initial measures would include some clearly signed prohibited areas, including sensitive beach nesting and intertidal feeding areas, improved education and signage, visual impact screening, improved bird hide design, provision of dog faeces bins, improved cyclist and pedestrian traffic management and appropriate surveillance and enforcement.
Further measures if required could include time limited access for dogs on a lead, extra line marking and signs and more monitoring.
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