Kempsey Shire Council moved a motion at the council meeting on Tuesday that will see council review access provisions for dogs at council beaches and increase enforcement restrictions during school holiday periods.
Councillor Bruce Morris put forward the motion at the meeting following a recent incident at Crescent Head beach where a local resident was clawed by a dog while swimming in April.
"This is to ensure the safety of residents when in public spaces," he said.
"It's not my intention to restrict guide dogs or companion dogs in public spaces or at holiday parks."
Andrew McGowan addressed the councillors at the meeting and said dogs are important in the community, but owners need to be responsible for their pets.
"Dogs are a vital part of our community and companion dogs are very important to the people who need them," he said.
"All owners need to be responsible for their animals."
Following Mr McGowan's speech asking for councillors to not exclude guide dogs or companion dogs, Cr Morris added to his motion that council champions guide dogs in the community and extended this to all establishments in the Shire.
"Dogs of this nature will protect people and not hurt them," he said.
Council's general manager Craig Milburn agreed and said this will show council's willingness to be inclusive.
"We want to be seen as an inclusive community and show council does fully support the role guide and companion dogs play in our community," he said.
The motion that was carried will see council review beach access provisions for dogs at council beaches, increase of enforcement during school holiday periods, council will engage with the contractor for Macleay Valley Coast Holiday Parks to ensure enforcement of their dog friendly provisions and review when dogs are permitted at the caravan park.
This will ensure dog owners are aware of the importance of being responsible while in public places and acknowledge dogs are an important part of the community.
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