THE City of Joondalup has called time on horses at Hillarys beach.
It follows a 10-3 vote at Tuesday’s council meeting in line with the council’s 2010 decision to phase out the horse beach.
It expects to close the 160m stretch to horses by the end of the year, reconfigure the carpark to allow for more bays to service the extension of the dog beach.
A City statement said in the past six years there had been several requests for an additional dog beach or extension to the present one.
In February, the City received a 178-signature petition for an additional dog beach at Burns Beach and another requesting an amendment to the Beach Management Plan in order to reduce congestion at the existing dog beach (110 signatures).
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said the Joondalup Council of 2010 adopted the Beach Management Plan after extensive community consultation, which included meetings between stakeholders and councillors.
“Since 2010 horse owners in the region have been aware of the City’s intention to close the Hillarys Horse Beach,” Mayor Pickard said.
“Joondalup is home to approximately 22,000 registered dogs and is proud to be widely regarded as a dog-friendly City.
“As a City, we are under increasing pressure to provide improved opportunities for the significant number of dog owners within our community.
“Many of these opportunities are dependent on the future use of the Hillarys Horse Beach carpark site.”
There are horse beaches in municipalities of Gingin, Cockburn and Kwinana and since 2010 the City has been in ongoing discussions with the City of Wanneroo in regards to the establishment of a horse beach in that local government area.
“We have been in talks with the City of Wanneroo about this issue for six years,” Mayor Pickard said.
“Consultation undertaken by them in 2011 found that 71 per cent of Wanneroo residents would support the provision of a local horse beach. However, as it stands, nothing has been done.
“Wanneroo has strong links to the horse industry and has a far more significant horse culture than Joondalup with historical ties dating back many decades. We must now put the needs of our own residents above those who live outside our boundaries.
“Users of the horse beach have had six years to prepare for the beach’s impending closure – two more years than originally intended – and Joondalup cannot allow the status quo to continue.”
Mayor Pickard said by confirming the closure of the Hillarys Horse Beach, other coastal local governments might also consider filling the void.
The proposed reconfiguration of the carpark would involve new line-markings and median alterations to accommodate additional car bays for dog owners and remove the provision of car parking for horse floats.
A report in response to the petitions about more beach space for dogs will be presented to Council later this year.
During discussion about a report on the Quinns Rocks dog beach extension petition at the Wanneroo council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Tracey Roberts flagged an amendment to the recommendation for the May 24 meeting to discuss dog beach provision in Tamala Park with Catalina estate developers.
Acting planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said they had previously discussed provision of a horse beach in that area, but not a dog beach.