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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.

    10 Essential Tips for Dog Owners

    • Do not allow your dog to roam at any time.
    • Exercise your dog regularly in an off leash exercise area to avoid problems associated with boredom.
    • Ensure your dog is registered and microchipped.
    • Pick up your dog’s faeces from public places and put it in a bin.
    • Train your dog not to bark (Council can help you with this).
    • Ask your adjoining owner if your dog creates any nuisance problems, and correct them.
    • Avoid dog attacks, ensure your dog is friendly and comfortable with people.
    • Keep your dog under ‘effective control by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash (and secured to a person) when in a public place.
    • Ensure you choose the correct dog for your circumstances.
    • Have your dog desexed if you are not a registered breeder.

    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).

    Dogs are prohibited from:

    • 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 Companion Animals Act 1998 No 87; 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 Click here
    • 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. Click here for map (837kB JPG)

    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 Companion animals Act 1998) 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
    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.

    Barking Dogs

    See Barking Dogs for more information.

    Dangerous and Restricted Dogs

    See Dangerous, Menacing and Restricted Dogs for more information.

    Nuisance Dogs

    A Nuisance Order may be issued if your dog is found to be repeatedly:
    • roaming the neighbourhood
    • making a noise
    • defecating on other peoples property
    • chasing a person, animal or vehicle
    • causing damage to property

    Working Dogs

    Under the Companion Animals Act a working dog (as defined) is exempt from registration if it is ordinarily kept on land defined and rated as farmland. The definition of a working dog is: a dog used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog being trained as a working dog.

    If you have a working dog, (as defined above), but the dog does not reside on land defined and rated as Farmland it must be microchipped and registered, however a nil dollar (free) registration fee applies.

    There are two avenues for the "working dog" owner to establish the dog as a working dog.

    1. The first is for a Tweed Shire Council Ranger to visit the property to witness the dog perform the duties as a working dog.

    2. The second is for the owner to sign a Statutory Declaration establishing that the dog is a working dog, listing the duties the dog performs. This Statutory Declaration must be witnessed and signed by a Justice of the Peace. Council may still choose to visit the property to witness the dog perform the duties as a working dog.

    Hunting dogs and guard dogs do not have any special status as working dogs under the Companion Animals Act.

  • 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.
    Last Updated: 21 November 2018