The festive spirit is well and truly a thing of the past for dog owners at Redhead Beach.
Lake Macquarie City Council rangers will start issuing warnings and fines from now to those who fail to take heed of new access rules.
Under the latest regulations, the stretch of sand from First Creek to Second Creek previously open to dogs on-lead is now off-limits for all pooches.
The area south of Second Creek remains leash-free.
By doing the wrong thing, people will be hit in the back pocket.
“Over the past six weeks, our rangers have been down at Redhead Beach regularly, providing information to dog owners and easing them into what has changed,” manager environmental regulation and compliance Derek Poulton said.
“We’re really pleased with how the vast majority of people has listened to us.
“We’ve received some great feedback from beachgoers who are enjoying the extended dog-free zone from First Creek to Second Creek.”
Before the recent rules were introduced, locals and lifeguards reported regular instances of canines wandering into the patrolled area and defecating or urinating near families playing in the sand.
“The move aims to increase enjoyment for all beach-users,” Mr Poulton said.
“It provides clearer guidelines for where dogs can and can’t go and making First Creek more family-friendly.”
Signs have been installed at Redhead Beach, Webb Park and other access areas letting owners know about the new rules and where they apply.
Those who flout them could face fines for either failing to keep their dog under effective control or for being in charge of a dog in a prohibited area.
“Both of those offences attract a penalty of $330,” Mr Poulton said.
“And, it’s possible to get two fines for one incident.
“For instance, if someone was to be inside the dog-free zone with a dog off-lead.
“But, this is not a revenue-raising venture.
“It’s about making Redhead Beach better for everyone.
“So, we’re urging dog owners to pay attention to the new rules and avoid any financial penalty.”
Find out more about off-leash areas in Lake Mac at lakemac.com.au
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