Council works to clarify off-leash dog beach rules

Kempsey Shire Council’s Rangers team have responded to community concerns and confusion by negotiating and clarifying the existing rules around off-leash dog walking on the shire’s beaches.

It recently became clear that the various agencies involved in patrolling and regulating dogs on the beaches around our coastal villages were not coordinated in their messaging and approach, particularly in the Crescent Head region.

In response to feedback from the community, Council’s Rangers team has held urgent negotiations with the National Parks and Wildlife Service with the results that:

  • The rules for dogs on the beaches have been agreed between the two agencies
  • New maps have been created to clearly identify which rules apply where for dog walking
  • A change to the rules for the area at the north end of Back Beach, Crescent Head, that had recently been made on-leash will now be an off-leash zone; and
  • Council will seek additional feedback from the community around off-leash areas in the shire in the coming months.

Councils Manager Development and Compliance, Graham Snow, thanked his rangers for their swift action in arranging negotiations and providing much-needed clarity for the community and visitors.

“One of the best aspects of coastal life is the ability to walk your dog on the beach, comfortable that your are safe to do so and not interfering with others enjoyment of the coast or endangering local wildlife,” said Mr Snow.

“In sitting down with the National Parks team to discuss how we could best serve local dog owners, particularly in Crescent Head, we have put the community first and come to a great result.”

“This is only the first step though. We know how important pets are to our residents so we will continue to work with the community to understand pet owners’ needs and make Kempsey a great shire for animals of all shapes and sizes.”

To see the new maps indicating the rules for dogs around the shire, head to

To register your interest in having your say on the rules around dogs and animals in our shire head to

Dog running on beach

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