Dog owner bites back at 'ridiculous' dog rules
A FRUSTRATED 74-year-old dog owner has written a scathing letter to the Sunshine Coast Council over its "ridiculous" "policing" of dog owners.
Mountain Creek's Angela Bingham is fed up with being "hounded" and "stalked" by council local laws officers eager to slap dog owners with fines for breaking rules at Point Cartwright.
"It seems all rather pathetic to me that you, as a body, our representatives, cannot get real and see how things really operate," she wrote.
"All you do is sit at your oblong table and ruminate, pull power and lay down some ridiculous rules, obviously without rhyme or reason. I invite you all to come and see for yourselves and stop sending your 'police' to keep us under 'control'."
And she has also taken fire at how the council has many rules to benefit cyclists, when it is dog owners who contribute to council coffers through registration fees.
"Why so many rules for us dog walkers and not the ones on wheels. They pose a danger to us," Ms Bingham said.
"We pay you, they don't!
"You have our money coming in every year with approximately 50,000 registered dogs in the Sunshine Coast area and this is how you treat us."
What's really got her fired up is the limited times for walking dogs off-lead at Point Cartwright and the "small and grotty" park available for small dogs in Buderim.
Ms Bingham sent to the letter to council chief executive officer Michael Whittaker and asked for a response.
Here is her letter:
Firstly, I do not have any details of your park rangers but I would like to say they strike me as being people without heart or conscience. I guess those are the type you need to carry out the job of issuing fines to people happily walking their dogs on the beach, especially on New Years Day.
Being innocuous, we go about our daily routines, staying healthy and happy and minding our own business, not harming anyone, stealing or vandalising.
Do we deserve to be hounded and stalked the way your rangers do?
We see them and quickly the word goes round.
Spies in our midst, Gestapo tactics!
We have such a fabulous environment and we love it and I object to some so-and-so coming along to pick on conscientious people, doing the right thing, walking with their best friends "the dogs". As a point that you may not have considered, we pick up rubbish, we keep the place clean and save the council hundreds of dollars in clean-up wages.
I pay rates and expect to get my money's worth of parkland and beaches without your recruits nit-picking to fill your coffers.
I would have to say it is time the council reviewed their 'rules' regarding hours to walk a dog off leash to be realistic and suited to Sunshine Coast and Point Cartwright.
(There are) Five daylight hours in summer and two daylight hours in winter in which to walk the dog off leash between:
- 4pm and 6pm (daylight - summer) Two hours
- 4pm to 5pm (winter) One hour
- 5am and 8am (daylight - summer) Three hours
- 7am to 8am (daylight - winter) One hour
We have a beautiful safe beach on the northern end of the peninsular, below the lighthouse. No bathers or people during the day, it is deserted and we, as responsible dog owners, have no where else to let our dogs run, have a swim and have fun?
As a body, you have randomly drawn a line across that beach, on your signs to tell us we can only run our dogs for limited times.
I am in my mid-seventies, I still work and have a business which keeps me on my toes, I am not stupid and your signs say "not" on this side of the line and "yes" on the other side of the line, in the sand mind you? Do your rangers know where that line really is?
As a further note to this issue about where we can run our dogs, there is a grotty little Park up in Buderim, that's right you know the one.
Where there is "The Big Dog Park", nice green grass, lots of space where the big dogs can run, play, bullies can fight while the owners "have a chat" under the gazebo but then there is the "Little Dog Park" that is disgustingly dirty, dusty, no grass, sticks, stones, tree roots and trees where the little dogs can play, be happy and chase the big dogs along the fence because there is not much else that can be done! There is a lovely green space across the road for, you guessed it, children but where are they?
None to be seen. No, probably in front of TV or computer.
It seems all rather pathetic to me that you, as a body, our representatives, cannot get real and see how things really operate. All you do is sit at your oblong table and ruminate, pull power and lay down some ridiculous rules, obviously without rhyme or reason. I invite you all to come and see for yourselves and stop sending your "police" to keep us under "control".
Who says the hours have to be between 4pm and 8am with only five hours of daylight in the summer and only two hours of daylight in the winter?
I would like to know the rationale behind this decision to limit my life, please if you don't mind.
Secondly, because there are hundreds of us, all with registered dogs, including those excluded from Mooloolaba, all doing the right thing most days, walking our dogs on- and off-lead at Point Cartwright, between those hours, we are being rudely treated by cyclists who have ALL the roads ALL day in which to ride their bikes; we have skate board riders who are happy to mow us down without slowing down and we have motorised scooters who are also zooming past at a great rate of knots.
Don't forget parents with toddlers in strollers, on bikes and scooters and with dogs.
This is a dangerous mix.
Why so many rules for us dog walkers and not the ones on wheels. They pose a danger to us!
We pay you ..... they don't!
You have our money coming in every year with approximately 50,000 registered dogs in the Sunshine Coast area and this is how you treat us.
As a motorist, the distance between a motor vehicle and a cyclist must be 1m.
What about the distance between a cyclists and a pedestrian?
Is there any control of cyclists, are there any rangers booking them any time I would like to know. They would be riding more than 15kmh some of them. some are polite, thank goodness.
You have strict rules for us but where are the rules and regulations or hours for these people who are adding to the dangers on our walking paths.
Thirdly, the path is only 3m three metres wide. We are supposed to give cyclists on the road one metre clearance.
What clearance are they supposed to give pedestrians and animals?
Many times we do not hear them coming up behind us as they do not have bells or if they do they do not ring them. They are riding very fast as though there are no pedestrians or dogs, as though they have it all to themselves.
I would like to see:
a) Off leash hours increased by two hours to 10am.
b) Hours in place where cyclists are banned during dog off-leash hours along the river walk of Point Cartwright, where they can and can't ride their bikes, especially when we dog owners have limited time and space to be out exercising.
c) Cyclists policed the way we are.
d) Improvements to 'Little Dog Park' enclosure at Buderim OR preferably a new area altogether.
I hope you get these complaints and suggestions on the table because really I have had enough of your unreasonable - in the true sense - decisions and 'rules'!