POOCHES on leads will be free to accompany people on trips to two beach cafes after Cockburn councillors went against a recommendation and opinion gathered during public consultation.
The recommendation put before councillors by Cockburn’s recreation and community safety manager Rob Avard suggested the city should prohibit dogs at Coogee Beach Reserve and the jetty.
His suggestion was put forward following community consultation and considered 964 submissions.
Two petitions with a combined 839 signatures against the proposal were received.
Comments made on the city’s website and through emails were mixed for and against.
The Coogee Beach Progress Association also surveyed its members, with the majority not supporting dogs on the reserve.
On Thursday Kevin Allen put forward an alternative to allow dogs to visit alfresco areas at the Coogee Beach Cafe and the Surfing Lizard Cafe at the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club, if agreed to by cafe operators. Dogs will still be restricted from beaches, picnic areas and the jetty.
“I think it is commonsense to enable a cafe to remain open to dogs,” Mr Allen said.
“We want these businesses to thrive.
“All this alternative is doing is continuing the status quo that has occurred for the past 12 years – ever since the cafe has been open and likewise with the one at the surf club .”
Petitioner Ron Blake was disappointed, saying community consultation was completely disregarded.
“I think it’s a big farce,” he said.
“The community was against, in every aspect, dogs in the alfresco area. When they (councillors) took a vote, there was no mention of the public consultation.
“We might not as well as have any community consultation. It was a fait accompli from the time the issue was raised in April.”
During the consultation period, North Coogee resident Liz Hodges said she would like the choice to bring her two cavalier king charles spaniels to the site.
“Dogs are part of people’s families, this is where we all live and it’s unnecessary not to allow them here,” she said.