Dogs in Public Spaces Strategy

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Dog on beach

We are responsible for managing public spaces including our beaches, parks and bushlands. With around 10,000 dogs living in the Byron Shire, we also have a role in managing dogs in those spaces.

We are developing a Dogs in Public Spaces Strategy to encourage responsible pet ownership and compliance with legislation. The strategy will consider the needs of dog owners and members of the general public who use and enjoy our public spaces.

The Strategy is being developed in three stages:

  1. Initial information gathering and research.
  2. Further information gathered through community engagement.
  3. Strategy development and implementation.

Read more about the 3 stages

Have your say

Take our Survey - we're collecting your feedback and ideas about Dogs in Public Spaces until 13 December 2021.

We are responsible for managing public spaces including our beaches, parks and bushlands. With around 10,000 dogs living in the Byron Shire, we also have a role in managing dogs in those spaces.

We are developing a Dogs in Public Spaces Strategy to encourage responsible pet ownership and compliance with legislation. The strategy will consider the needs of dog owners and members of the general public who use and enjoy our public spaces.

The Strategy is being developed in three stages:

  1. Initial information gathering and research.
  2. Further information gathered through community engagement.
  3. Strategy development and implementation.

Read more about the 3 stages

Have your say

Take our Survey - we're collecting your feedback and ideas about Dogs in Public Spaces until 13 December 2021.

  • 3 stages of Strategy development

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    The Strategy is being developed in three stages:

    1. Initial information gathering and research.
    2. Further information gathered through community engagement.
    3. Strategy development and implementation.

    Stage one

    Report on the findings of research and information gathering on the following:

    • A review of Council held dog data, including information and statistics on the number of registered dogs across the Shire.
    • The number of dog related incidents responded to by Council enforcement officers.
    • A review of relevant state legislation about dogs in public spaces.
    • Recent open spaces study information to develop understanding of exercise and recreation practices with dogs, specifically related to dog exercise.
    • Review of previous community engagement relating to dogs to identify potential issues and stakeholders.

    Stage two

    Community engagement and consultation through:

    • Forming a Community Working Group that represents a wide span of community interests.
    • Online survey to gain broader views from the residents and visitors about dogs in public spaces.
    • Face-to-face drop in sessions and site visits at popular dog exercise areas and a 'main street' location aimed at capturing diverse views.

    Stage three

    Preparation of the draft strategy. The work undertaken in earlier stages will inform the initial themes and directions of the Strategy, and will include

    • Vision
    • Objectives for the strategy
    • Key themes and strategic directions
    • Action plan

    Council will formally exhibit the draft Strategy and seek feedback through submissions.

    On review of the submissions, the draft Dogs in Public Spaces Strategy will be adopted.

    It is proposed that the DiPS will replace the current Byron Shire Council Policy 5.31 Companion Animal Exercise Areas – which was last reviewed in 2019.

  • Community Working Group - Terms of Reference

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    Purpose

    The Community Working Group (the Group) is being established by Byron Shire Council to help inform and guide the preparation of the Dogs in Public Spaces Strategy. This Strategy will set out the vision, themes and actions for the management of dogs in public spaces across the Shire.

    Membership

    The Group will seek to represent a wide span of community interests. This includes:

    • dog owners and non-dog owners
    • business people including tourism operators and food outlets
    • neighbourhood and residents' groups
    • vets and animal welfare groups
    • environmental protection authorities and interest groups
    • sporting groups and general users of parklands and exercise spaces
    • people with a disability and any special interest groups
    • the elderly and young people

    The Group will consist of up to 15 community members made up of representatives from different localities across the Shire and reflecting the diverse interests in the issue. Members must live in the Shire. Council will use an expression of interest process to appoint members to the Group.

    Role

    The Group will work closely with Council staff and the project consultants, Locale Consulting, to provide meaningful, representative input and feedback on key policy issues about the management of dogs in public spaces. This includes exploring:

    • changes to the existing conditions for off-leash areas
    • whether there is a need for new dog exclusion zones, off-leash areas or enclosed dog parks
    • the suitability of existing dog exercise areas and associated infrastructure such as signage and bins
    • how Council can encourage and promote responsible dog ownership

    The Group will be advisory only and will not have a decision making role.

    Format

    The Group will meet four times during the project duration as follows:

    No. Purpose of meeting Format Date and time
    1 Providing an overview of the project.
    Getting to know each other.
    Explaining the roles, responsibilities & involvement in the Group in the project.
    Online - Zoom Monday 29 November 2021
    6pm to 8pm
    2

    Co-designing elements of the face to face drop-in sessions for the project.

    Online - Zoom Monday 31 January 2022
    6pm to 8pm
    3

    Gaining early input from the Group into the vision, themes and actions into the draft Strategy.

    In-person
    Location: TBC

    Saturday 19 February 2022
    Time: TBC

    4

    Seeking feedback from the Group on the emerging vision, themes and actions for the draft Strategy before the formal exhibition.

    In-person
    Location: TBC

    Monday 14 March 2022
    6pm-8pm


    Guidelines for participation

    All members must follow Council's core values of positivity, respect and openness.

    It is acknowledged that members are likely to have different views about the issues and will be passionate about the topic. Along with this passion, we also ask that members:

    • bring an open mind and willingness to listen to other people's viewpoints
    • respect Council staff, councillors and others in our community during engagement activities
    • be polite and courteous
    • talk to the issue, not the person
    • take time to find common ground
    • think about ideas and solutions which meet all community needs
    • stay curious and positive

    Members are expected to attend each meeting and are encouraged to discuss the project and issues with other community members. Any conflicts of interest must be disclosed to Council and appropriately managed.

    Indicative project timeline

    Below is the indicative project timeline. This may change subject to any COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time of any planned events:

    • October 2021 - Establishment of Community Working Group
    • November / December 2021- Online survey to gain feedback from the wider community
    • November 2021- Online meeting of Group
    • January 2022 - Online meeting of Group
    • February 2022 - Face to face drop-in sessions across the Shire and in-person workshop with Group
    • March 2022 -In-person workshop with Group
    • April 2022 - Exhibition of draft Strategy for wider public comment and further community engagement

    Council's role

    Council staff will provide relevant administrative support to the Group.

    Before each meeting, Council will distribute agendas and any background information or materials. After the meeting, Council will circulate the minutes.

    The key contact at Council will be:

    Kathie Anderson
    PES Administration Officer
    Email: kanderson@byron.nsw.gov.au

    Project consultant's role

    The project consultant, Locale Consulting, is assisting Council in delivering the project. This includes facilitating the Group meetings and running other engagement activities.

    The key contact at Locale Consulting will be:

    Emma Broomfield
    Director - Governance & Mediation

    The Expression of Interest to join the Community Working Group has now closed.

Page last updated: 24 November 2021, 11:07