Power to the pooch

THE beach in front of the old South Fremantle Power Station looks set to become a leashed dog exercise area as Cockburn council hopes to bring the divisive issue to an end.

The council has faced a concerted and occasionally hostile campaign from dog owners since it banned their pets from Ammo Jetty beach in October 2020 in response to concerns they were disturbing nesting fairy terns. The owners complained some dogs need leash-only exercise areas because they were either picked on by bigger off-leach pooches or struggled to socialise themselves.

As a compromise the council started looking for alternative sites, and after consultation which drew in nearly 2000 responses, it’s proposed about 600 metres where Chelydra Point Beach meets the southern end of CY O’Connor beach.

The council said that was the preferred option of 45 per cent of respondents, although all up 63 per cent said it was ok. Its staff were also happy with the choice as it made compliance checks easier for rangers and had good access for dog owners.

But the plan is still opposed by ROC for Dogs, who want their old stomping ground at Woodman Point reinstated and they submitted a 700-signature petition along with their response to the survey. But that doesn’t have support from the state’s environment watchdog, who’s sided with the terns.

The change will be advertised for 28 days before pooches can get powered up for a walk.

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