Council beach signs turn up with no notice or discussion
We are concerned and very upset residents who are incensed about the dogs prohibited signs, which turned up on the beach virtually overnight with no notice or opportunity to discuss this matter.
The local beaches are for the local residents to enjoy all year round.
Yes, it is good to have holiday makers come and enjoy it.
However it is the locals who are the backbone of the community economy 365 days a year.
We are from Ettalong Beach, Umina Beach and Woy Woy.
Many residents in these areas are elderly and for many years have been beach walkers with their beloved dogs.
Ettalong Beach from the Box restaurant to the Ferry Wharf road has always been a family beach for families, children and senior citizens.
It has provided a much-needed social and therapeutic for all.
All dog owners are very respectful of our beloved beach and very aware of their responsibilities with their animals.
Locals are always the ones cleaning up after the holiday-makers leave.
On Saturday, folks arrived at the beach to see new signs prohibiting dogs on our beach from the box to the Ferry Wharf.
Locals who have lived their lives here and enjoyed our beach with their animals were devastated to see these signs.
I have been using this beach for 60 years and am yet to see any instance of problems with dogs or their owners.
This has taken away the freedom and enjoyment of families coming together to walk, swim and socialise.
Local residents are the backbone of the community and take great pride in their areas.
Therefore, for the council to put these signs up without any warning or notice to residents is very, very wrong.
If council were to see how the beach is used, enjoyed and kept clean, they would not need to display these signs.
So many elderly and disabled people live for their companion dogs and they are a very important part of their lives both mentally and physically.
The danger at the beach is not the pets but the jet skiers who take over the beach front by driving in between swimmers (many of them toddlers and children), throw their anchors out and beach their jet skis on the beach front.
There are times when there are six to 14 all beached in the swimming area.
According to what we were told by the Maritime, they are not allowed to come past the yellow buoys and within 30 metres of swimmers.
There are some who do the right thing but many, many speed in, abuse people and park on the beach not showing any regard or care for the people swimming.
There is far more danger from them and their antics than beloved dogs with their families.
Unfortunately they are never policed so they go with their own rules putting public safety at risk.
Let us have the signs removed and continue to enjoy the beach with our pets.
We are desperately seeking help and guidance to remedy this and remove the signs giving the beach back to the local community and ridding the area of the jet skis.
Email, 8 Feb 2022
Dianne Garland, Woy Woy