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Responsibilities whilst dog in a public place

All dogs in New South Wales must be on a lead when in a public place unless in a designated off-leash area.
A dog that is in a public place must be under the effective control of a competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) a person.

Roaming dogs have the potential to cause community nuisance through a variety of unwanted activities including:
  • Defecating on public or private properties
  • Destructive behaviour towards property.
  • Potential for traffic accidents
  • Harassing / aggressive behaviour towards others dogs or animals.
  • Worst of all, an attack on another animal or person.

Many owners fail to realise their pet, which in many instances is an extension of their family, may be a nuisance to the rest of the neighbourhood. The best way to address these issues is to:

  • Ensure that your dog is always walked on a lead enabling you to adequately control your dog at all times whilst in a public place.
  • Adequately confine your dog to your property ensuring the dog does not escape and roam around.

An infringement notice will be issued for non compliance.

Dogs in Parks

Dogs are welcome in the parks; however, there are some rules you need to follow. Dogs are to be on a lead (and secured to a person) at all times and you need to clean up after them (on the spot penalty applies for non removal of faeces).

Off Leash Dog Exercise Areas – Tweed Shire

The following rules apply whilst in a leash free area, these areas are patrolled and penalties apply for non compliance:
  • All dogs are to be accompanied and supervised
  • All dogs in the area must be able to be controlled without a leash ie under effective control.
  • A dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 4 dogs under his or her control.
  • Dogs that are declared dangerous dogs by Council (such as aggressive and restricted breeds identified by the NSW Companion Animals Regulation 2018 (external link) ) are not allowed to use any designated off leash areas
  • Dog owners/controllers MUST remove all dog faeces that may be deposited by the dog under their control
Interactive mapping - Where can I walk my dog?

The following areas are approved dog off leash exercise areas within the Tweed Shire:

  1. South Kingscliff Beach - from the boundary of Salt residential area north to the rockwall of Cudgen Creek.
  2. Boyds Family Park, off Piggabeen Road, Tweed Heads West.
  3. Frangela Drive Reserve, Frangela Drive, Murwillumbah.
  4. River Street Park, between numbers 73 and 89 River Street, Murwillumbah.
  5. South Cabarita Beach - 200m south of Norries Headland to a point one kilometre north of Cudgera Creek.
  6. South Pottsville Beach - 200m south of the main bathing area at Pottsville Beach to 200m north of Black Rocks.
  7. South Fingal Head / Kingscliff Beach - access from Murphys Road Kingscliff to a point 0.5km south of the beach access point at the Fingal Head Quarry.
  8. Corowa Park - Corner of Chinderah Road and Terrace Street, Chinderah.
  9. Turnock Park - Corner of Chinderah Road and Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah.
  10. The riverbank reserve at the end of Old Ferry Road, Oxley Cove.
  11. Bilambil Road Park on the corner of Naponyah Road and Bilambil Road, Terranora.
  12. Amaroo Park on the corner of Darlington Drive and Amaroo Drive, Banora Point.
  13. Hibiscus and Oyster Point Park at the bottom of Bushland Drive, Banora Point.
  14. Ducat Park - Ducat Street, Tweed Heads.

Dogs are prohibited from:

Dog in park on leash
  • Children's play areas (meaning any public place, or part of a public place, that is within 10 metres of any apparatus)
  • Recreation areas indicating with relevant signage that 'Dogs are Prohibited'
Under the NSW Companion Animals Regulation 2018 (external link) , dogs are also prohibited from:
  • Food preparation/consumption areas
  • Public bathing areas where dogs are prohibited (including beaches)
  • School grounds, child care centres
  • Shopping arcades or shopping complex (including parking or access to shops) and
  • Wildlife protection areas eg Koala Beach, Pottsville Environment Park and Pottsville Wetland South. Wildlife Protection Areas are high conservation bushland reserves where both dogs and cats are prohibited. These areas provide safe habitats, free from the impacts of cats and dogs, for Tweed’s native fauna. To find out more about Council’s Wildlife Protection Areas
Hastings Point / Cudgera Creek dog exclusion area - Council has designated a dog exclusion area encompassing land east of Tweed Coast Road from Yugari Drive north to Peninsula Street, including all foreshore areas of the Cudgera Creek estuary and the beach north of Cudgera Creek mouth to the shoreline adjacent to the Peninsula Street beach access walkway. The closure of this area to dogs is to protect significant shorebird and beach nesting bird habitat and reduce disturbance. Dog Exclusion area - Cudgera Creek Estuary map (837kB JPG)

Dog offences and penalties

The NSW Companion Animals Regulation 2018 (external link) sets out the regulations and penalties for owning a dog in NSW. In August 2018, some of the penalties changed.

Penalties for dog owners to be aware of:
Not picking up dog poo in a public space$275
Dog in a prohibited area, roaming, not under control in public place or off-leash in an on-leash area$330
Unregistered dog$330
Dog without a microchip$180
Dog rushes, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person / animal$1,320

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I see a dog locked in a vehicle?
Please call Police immediately on "000".  Only Police have the authority to gain access to a vehicle to remove an animal.
Who can I contact if I am concerned about the welfare of an animal?
Please contact the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 278 358 or (02) 9770 7555, to report any animal welfare concerns.
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