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Maroochy Shire Council's
Dog Patrol Officer

All Dog Owners are warned to beware of Maroochy Shire Council's New Dog Catcher.

Council have issued him with a new white 4WD and a blue Policeman's Uniform and given him the authority to issue on the spot fines for any and all breaches of the Local Laws.
Theoretically, this would not be such a BAD thing - for Vicious Dogs on Crowded Beaches, but for our DESERTED Beach in the early morning it's RIDICULOUS.
Unfortunately this overzealous officer treats all dogs as vicious and all dog owners as criminals.

Over the years many of us have become complacent with regards to the strict letter of the law requiring dogs to be kept on a leash AT ALL TIME.
In the past common sense has prevailed and we have often let our dogs have a run or a swim without bothering anybody.   There have never been any problems and we have never needed anybody to enforce any hard and fast rules in this regard.

However all this has now CHANGED

No longer can you afford to drop Fido's lead and let him chase a seagull or go for a swim without risking a hefty fine.   $150 for not maintaining effective control in a public place
The new Dog Catcher has changed this pleasant pastime into a stressful exercise.
Unfortunately, people in positions like his are looked upon as ambassadors of the Council and his preference for using intimidation rather than cooperation when dealing with people on the beach has provoked deep feelings of anger and resentment in the community.
This officers actions are more in keeping with those of a Detention Centre Prison Guard in a Police State than what is expected for a junior public servant in a Tourist Area.
We have many pensioners and retirees in our community on fixed incomes who can ill afford to pay such a hefty fine for such a minor offense in order to boost his ego.
Consequently he is doing irreparable damage to Council/Community Public Relations.

It was our desire to avoid this type of confrontation that prompted our request to have a section of our beach between M47 and M50 declared an Off-Leash area for Dogs.
This request was rejected on the grounds that it was considered that there were already areas for this purpose provided at Stumers Creek and the Airport Park.
However both these areas are too far away for North Marcoola residents to use without resorting to car travel.

What can you do to Avoid a FINE?

Be Alert:
This joker patrols the beach from early morning in a white 4WD.
If you see him coming - LEAVE.
Unfortunately you won't always see his car because he often parks near a beach entry and sneaks down the path to catch offenders off guard.
Keep your eyes peeled for Blue Police Style Uniforms near Beach Entry Points.
One of his tactics is to stalk people on the beach and photograph them in the act with their dog off it's leash, before approaching and issuing an on the spot fine of $150 for breaching the Local Law.
Don't let him get close enough to read the dog tag number.
The registration number is clearly visible from a distance, and it's the first thing he needs. While he is walking towards you and giving his official speech about "..wishing to talk to you about your dog...etc."he is covertly reading the number so by the time he announces his intention to issue you with a citation and asking you for his Registration Number - He already HAS it.
His plan is to provoke you into loosing your temper and doing something RASH like Refusing to cooperate or Walking away.
He can then justify POSTING you a $150 Fine by Registered Mail even though you think your OFFENSE and should have only warranted a Warning.
Remember - He gives FINES not Warnings so KEEP CLEAR
The ONLY way to avoid a Fine is to KEEP YOUR DOG ON THE LEASH at ALL Times
(Sort of takes some of the FUN out of life - eh?)

Want to HELP?

Write a letter to Council through your Local Representative supporting our request for a Harassment Free Zone between M47 and M50

   If you have had the misfortune to had a run in with this Dog Catcher, complain to your Division-4 representative Errol Middlebrook (He is the ONLY person who will sympathize and may be able to help)

    Send us an E-Mail and tell us about your experience.