Dog beach ban here to stay: Connolly
DOG owners trying to overthrow council's ban on dogs on Mooloolaba Beach aren't likely to get the Christmas present they're hoping for.
Despite more than 100 people and 50 dogs turning out for a protest rally yesterday, their strongest supporter says he can't see council reconsidering any time soon.
Cr John Connolly, who voted to allow dogs on the Mooloolaba Spit end of the beach rather than imposing a total ban, said while he sympathised with angry dog lovers, he wouldn't be taking a stand on their behalf.
"It's a very tough issue and I can see both sides of the argument but only about 18% of people in my division are dog owners and I reckon if you took it to the public, the vast majority wouldn't want dogs on the beach,” he said.
" I support the dog owners but there are two sides to this and I can understand both of them but you have to be realistic.
"But it's gone to council twice in the past 12 months and both times it's been defeated.
"I honestly think it will be a while before we have another go at it.
"Maybe some time in the future, we will feel the time is right to ask again.
"But not now.”
In the meantime, Mr Connolly suggested there were "ample places” for people to walk their dogs, including off-leash beaches a "shor drive away”.
That's unlikely to sit well with the dog lovers who attended yesterday's protest rally and march from the Spit to the surf club and back.
Rally organiser Tim Haight was delighted by the turn-out.
"We've had a lot of people offering support and thoughts and advice,” he said.
"Everybody's got something to lose.
"If somebody from this area wants to take their dog on the beaches now, they have to go to Kawana.”
He hoped the strength of the protest would open the eyes of councillors.
"This issue is about the dogs but it's also about the way the law was brought into effect.
"It wasn't with consultation of the people and, as you can see here, everybody's upset about it.”