NO SH*T: Meet the dog owners who want dog owners fined
MEET the group of dog owners who are inviting council officers to come to their beach and issue fines to dog owners.
The reason is simple. They are fed up with dog owners who do the wrong thing and leave their dog poop on the beach.
At least 70 dog owners have formed a group called Ballinger Beach Buddies to put a "stop to the fouling of their beach by a small minority of irresponsible dog owners".
Group chair Wilma Hewitt said for years a few owners had "let their dogs do what they wanted on the beach".
"But those days are coming to an end," she warned.
"Our group is working with the Sunshine Coast Council, not against it," she said.
"Councillor Peter Cox, a dog owner, has been very supportive.
"The Buddies have been picking up dog droppings, including the bagged variety, and are politely explaining to the offenders that they risk a fine of $243 every time. There's a similar fine too for dogs off leash in the park behind the beach."
Ballinger beach is between Dicky Beach and Currimundi beach.
"Frankly, our group of owners would welcome the council inspectors visiting the beach more often and we are asking for this to happen, especially in early mornings," she said.
Another resident Bob Wurth said the group had been formed after noticing a large number of dog poops left behind in the last school holidays.
Should council officers crack down on dog owners having dogs off leash and leaving dog poo?
This poll ended on 30 March 2017.
Yes, everyone needs to follow the rules.
No, the rules are too tough on owners.
Yes, but only on owners who leave their dog's poo.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"The beach was in a filthy state," he said.
"We held a meeting and decided we wanted to do something to clean the beach up."
"We want (council) inspectors to pay more visits, not less."
He has also learned the custom of leaving a dog poop in a bag while a person enjoys a walk is not allowed and would incur a fine.
"I used to do that as I didn't realise it was wrong. Now I take (the poop) with me on my walk," he said.
Mr Wurth said a council inspector had found 18 dog poos on a short stretch of Ballinger Beach.
"This is unacceptable," he said.
But since the group had formed, he had seen "a vast improvement".
Mr Wurth said residents enjoyed having a off-leash dog beach which was why they decided to do something about it.
Ms Hewitt said the "days of anything goes are over".
"We know at some other beaches, dog owners are opposing the council fines. We are more interested in educating the owners to respect our beach to make it clean and safe for everyone."
The Facebook group Dogs of the Sunshine Coast has gained more than 1700 members and formed its own executive committee to challenge some of the council fines they believed were over-the-top.
This included a fine for a woman walking her dog off-leash on a dog off-leash beach and a woman fined when she tied her 10-year-old labrador up at a table to buy a cup of coffee across the road.