Dog Controls in Public Places policy

Dog Controls in Public Places Document No: CPL50.3
Approval Date: 22 October 2013
Approved By: Council
Review Date: 22 October 2016
Responsible Officer: General Manager Community Services Version No 01
Authorising Officer: Chief Executive Officer

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to recognise that dog controls in public places is necessary, and implemented on a balanced approach, for the benefit of all members of the community.

The policy will guide the community with respect to understanding dog control rules within the municipality and conditions that apply in open public spaces to ensure community safety, environment protection and fair and equitable access to such spaces.

2. Scope

The policy applies to all areas within the municipality.

3. References

  • Domestic Animals Act 1994
  • Domestic Animal Management Plan 2013 - 2017

4. Definitions

  • Road has the same meaning as ascribed to it by Section 3 of the Local Government Act

5. Council Policy

The following principles will be used for the implementation of this policy:

Off Leash ‘Supervised’ Areas


Dogs are allowed off leash and supervised in specific designated public open space areas and/or any area as indicated by the relevant signage. This includes, amongst other designated public open spaces;

  • Those paths and adjoining land located on the Fyansford Common and the shared path on the northern side of the Barwon River upstream from the Queens Park Bridge to Fyansford Common including Zillah Crawcour Park);
  • Sporting grounds/ovals (playing area) outside times when being used for organised sports, including training (as defined by a formal booking with council)
  • Sporting complexes/reserves – outside times when being used for organised sports, including training (as defined by a formal booking with council)
  • A range of Reserves as listed in the attachment to this policy
  • A range of broad open space parks as listed in the attachment to this Policy and as represented by Map 2.

Council will review the effectiveness of these ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’ on an ongoing basis and will also consider any request for new ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’ to be established based on the following criteria, which will ensure safety, and equitable access to such spaces. These include:

  • Linear open public spaces (i.e. green corridors, easements) may be considered if there is sufficient width to ensure safe use and passage
  • Public open spaces that do not contain a playground or where the playground is fully enclosed/fenced. Open public spaces with centrally located playgrounds are not suitable as an ‘Off Leash - Supervised Area’
  • Public open spaces that are located at a safe distance from busy roads
  • Any other public open space not mentioned above that is not adjoining/adjacent to a water body and where no wildlife is present
  • Places where there is no detriment to public safety or the environment through the use of such open public spaces
  • Suitable open spaces will be reviewed annually to monitor performance and identify any additional reserves that may be suitable as “Off Leash - Supervised Areas’.

Conditions Applicable to ‘Off Leash - Supervised Areas’

The following conditions must be followed when using the ‘Off Leash - Supervised Areas’:

The handler must have a dog lead in their possession and place their dog back on the leash when leaving the off leash area.

  • The handler must be able to demonstrate audible control of the dog.
  • Dogs must remain in visual and audible range of their handler to allow it to be effectively recalled at any time.
  • When encountering other people or animals using this area, the dog must be recalled and restrained until both parties have moved apart at a safe distance.
  • Dogs must not enter water habitats that contain wildlife, beach nesting birds or chase wildlife in these areas;
  • Dogs attracted to the motion of wheels must be controlled at all times;
  • Dogs that are aggressive to people or other dogs, behave in an anti social manner, or are over excitable should be muzzled when in public and not to be off leash; and
  • Dogs declared menacing/dangerous/restricted breed are not permitted to be walked off-lead in ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’.


  • Signs will clearly indicate those parks, reserves or public open spaces where dogs are permitted to be off a leash and supervised.

On Leash ‘Controlled’ Areas

  • Within the City of Greater Geelong, unless otherwise designated by signage, all public open space areas shall be designated as ‘On Leash - Controlled Areas’ (public open space areas includes roads, footpaths, beaches, reserves, parks, playgrounds and other council lands and buildings).

More specifically this includes:

  • All roads and footpaths/nature strips/shared paths.
  • Shopping centres.
  • High use areas pedestrian and/or cycling areas (for example the Waterfront Precinct in Geelong).
  • Sporting complexes and reserves (not including playing area) during times of organised sports (as defined by a formal booking with council which includes times booked for sports practice/training).
  • At Council sanctioned/approved events, markets etc.
  • Shared use paths or walking paths and including areas either side of the abutting edge of the path; (except those in designated ‘Off Leash – Supervised Areas’).
  • Dogs being within and/or tethered within ten (10) metres of children’s play equipment.
  • Dogs being within and/or tethered within ten (10) meters of picnic and barbecue areas (as defined by council provided barbecues and/or tables and associated seating).
  • In areas designated as environmentally significant
  • Jetties and piers.
  • Water bodies such as creeks, rivers, lakes, and beaches (ocean, bay) unless signposted as a dedicated swimming area for dogs.
  • Beach foreshore and coastline areas (except those designated otherwise).

Conditions applying to all ‘On Leash Controlled Areas’ and ‘Off Leash Supervised Areas’

  • The handler must at all times have a means to pick up and dispose of dog droppings – penalties apply.
  • Dogs when tethered must never be left unattended anywhere e.g. play equipment, shopping precincts.
  • Leads must not exceed 2 metres in length.
  • Retractable leads must be restricted to 2 metres in length in ‘On Leash – Controlled Areas’.

Dog control categories

Dog control categories (applicable to coastline areas and other public open spaces as designated) apply to reflect the needs of all public open space users and ensure community safety and environmental protection.

Category 1 (Green) – Off leash ‘Supervised’ Area

  • Areas where dogs are permitted off leash and supervised all year round.

Category 2 (Yellow) – Conditional Off Leash ‘Supervised’ Area

  • Allow dogs off leash and supervised during specified times all year round; in the mornings prior to 10:00am and in the evenings after 5.00 p.m. Dogs would be required to be on leash at all other times.
  • On land managed by the Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management, allow dogs off leash and supervised at any times between May 1 and October 31 each year. Dogs would be prohibited during all other periods.

Category 3 (Blue) – Conditional On Leash ‘Controlled’ Area

  • On land managed by the Barwon Coast Committee of Management, allow dogs on leash and controlled at any times between 1 December to 17 December and 1 February to 30 April each year. Dogs permitted off leash and supervised between 1 May to 30 November.
  • Dogs would be prohibited at other times in designated areas as signed.

Category 4 (Brown) – On Leash ‘Controlled’ Area (Environmentally Sensitive Areas) and/or high use pedestrian/tourist precincts

  • Areas where dogs are required to be on leash all year round due to:
    • environmental sensitivity
    • where there is an Order by Council
    • the land management authority (not being Council) has regulated dog access under their own rules or legislation
    • high use pedestrian/tourist precincts

Category 5 (Purple) – Conditional On Leash ‘Controlled’ Area (Hooded Plover and Wildlife Zones)

  • Allow dogs on leash during specified periods as designated by signage including periods during the hooded plover nesting season and/or other periods dedicated to protecting other wildlife (i.e. seals, penguins). Dogs are permitted to be off leash and supervised at other times/periods.

Category 6 (Red) - Exclusion Area All Year Round

  • Areas that will have dogs prohibited for reasons of:
    • extremely high environmental sensitivity;
    • where there is an Order by Council;
    • the land management authority (not being Council) has prohibited dogs under their own rules or legislation (effected by a dog control order).

Designated ‘Off Leash - Supervised Areas’

TABLE 1: Designated ‘Off Leash - Supervised Areas’
Park/Reserve Location Zone Melways reference
North zone
Elcho Park 125 Elcho Road Lara North 422 B7
Abe Wood Reserve 300 Evans Road Lovely Banks North 431 A3
Sutcliff Reserve 240-268 Plantation Road Corio North 431 J4
Stead Park 190-216 Princess Highway Corio North 432 C10
Myers Reserve 5-35 Bluestone Bridge Road Bell Post Hill North 441 C1
Seagull Paddock 380-400 Melbourne Road North Geelong North 441 K3
Fyansford Common Deviation Road Fyansford North 451 A2
South zone
Rotary Centennial Park 188A West Fyans Street Newtown South 451 E6
Frank Mann Reserve 5 Heal Street Ceres South 450 C11
Grinter Reserve 125-177 Coppards Road Moolap South 453 B12
Brearley Reserve Grove Road Marshall South 465 K4
Breakwater Road Reserve Breakwater Road Belmont South 466 C1
East zone
Portarlington Recreation Reserve 4-22 Sproat Street Portarlington East 444 F6
Drysdale Recreation Reserve 30 Duke Street Drysdale East 456 G11
Charles McCarthy Memorial Reserve Leviens Road St Leonards East 459 K11
Kingston Park Recreation Reserve 8-52 Adco Grove Ocean Grove East 484 C9
Collendina Reserve 93A Sunset Strip Ocean Grove East 484 E12
Beacon Point Reserve Beacon Point Road Clifton Springs East 457 A2

TABLE 2: Sporting Grounds/Ovals (playing area only) available as an ‘Off Leash - Supervised Area’
Outside times when being used for organised sports, including training (as defined by a formal booking with Council)
Reserve Address Melways reference
Abe Wood Reserve Evans Road, Lovely Banks 431 A3
Anakie Reserve Demotts Road, Anakie Key Map 11 A
Bakers Oval Shannon Avenue, Geelong West 441 G12
Barwon Heads Reserve - CROWN LAND Barwon Heads Road, Barwon Heads 497 A2
Belmont Common North- CROWN LAND Settlement Road, Belmont 451 K8
Belmont Common South- CROWN LAND Breakwater Road, Belmont 466 A1
Breakwater Reserve Tanner Street, Breakwater 466 D2
Burdoo Reserve Wingarra Drive, Grovedale 465 E9
Ceres Reserve - CROWN LAND Cochranes Road, Ceres 450 B12
Collendina Reserve Sunset Strip, Ocean Grove 484 D12
Corio Community Reserve Hendy Street, Corio 432 C7
Drysdale Reserve - CROWN LAND Wyndham Street, Drysdale 456 F10
Eastern Park - CROWN LAND 1-45 Garden Street, East Geelong 402 P6
Elcho Park Elcho Road, Lara 422 A7
Elderslie Reserve Read Street, Newtown 451 D2
Ervin Reserve Richard Street, Newcomb 452 K9
Evans Reserve Sparks Road, Norlane 431 K12
Flinders Peak Reserve Hendy Street, Corio 432 C7, D6
Frier Reserve West Fyans Street, Newtown 451 G7
Grinter Reserve Coppards Road, Newcomb 453 B12
Grovedale Reserve - CROWN LAND Reserve Road, Grovedale 465 H7
Hamlyn Park Calvert Street, Hamlyn Heights 441 F10
Herne Hill Reserve Finchaven Street, Herne Hill 451 D1
Highton Reserve 95-105 Barrabool Road, Highton 451 C10
Howard Glover Reserve - CROWN LAND Limeburners Road, Geelong 452 H6
Hume Reserve Thompsons Road, North Geelong 441 H5
Harold Hurst Reserve Douglass Street, Herne Hill 441 E11
King Lloyd Reserve Windsor Road, Newtown 451 E8
Lake Lorne Equestrian Reserve Road, Drysdale 470 F1
Lara Reserve Walkers Road, Lara 423 B5
Leopold Reserve Melaluka Road, Leopold 468 D2
McDonald Reserve Reynolds Road, Belmont 465 D1
Mount Duneed Reserve Russells Road, Mount Duneed 479 A4
Myers Reserve Creamery Road, Bell Post Hill 441 A2
Ocean Grove Reserve Draper Street, Ocean Grove 483 J11
Osborne Park Osborne Avenue, North Geelong 442 A8
Peter Lowe Reserve Minerva Road, Herne Hill 441 F1
Portarlington Reserve Sproat Street, Portarlington 444 F6
Queen’s Park Reserve 150 Queens Park Road, Highton 451 B4
Rees Reserve Old Melbourne Road, Little River 200 E9
Richmond Crescent Richmond Crescent, South Geelong 452 C7
St Albans Reserve Boundary Road, Whittington 452 G12
St Leonards Reserve McLeod Street, St Leonards 460 A10
Shell Reserve Purnell Road, Corio 432 B8
Shell Road Reserve (Surfside) Shell Road, Ocean Grove 484 C10
South Barwon Reserve Barwon Heads Road, Belmont 451 K10
Stead Park St Georges Road, Corio 432 B10
Thomson Reserve Godfrey Street, Thomson 452 F8
Tim Hill Reserve Wandana Drive, Wandana Heights 450 K11
Vines Road V ines Road, Hamlyn Heights 441 E10
Wallington Reserve Wallington Road, Wallington 483 D4
Wathaurong Reserve Collins Street, Drysdale 456 K9
Western Oval Church Street, North Geelong 441 J11
Windmill Reserve Mayfair Drive Newtown 451 D5
Windsor Park Rose Avenue, Norlane 432 B12
Winter Reserve Kidman Avenue, Belmont 465 F2

TABLE 3: Reserves available as an ‘On Leash - Controlled Areas’
Reserve Address Melways reference
Aitken Park 7 Aitken Court, Whittington 466 H1
Bank Reserve 20 Bank Street, Lara 423 A6
Belmont Heights Neighbourhood Park Corner Regent Street and Amundsen Street, Belmont 451 H10
Bennett Reserve 6A Bennett Street, Highton 451 B9
Buckingham Reserve 66 Buckingham Road, Newtown 451 E6
Cara Reserve 5A Cara Road, Highton 451 D9
Chandos Reserve 4A McGill Court, St Albans 466 G2
Clunies Reserve 10 Clunies Court, Corio 431 H6
Cornthwaite Reserve 2 Cornthwaite Crescent, Leopold 468 G2
Crane Reserve 9 Crane Court, Ocean Grove 483 J10
Fairmont Reserve 21 Fairmont Road, Newtown 451 E6
Fairnie Reserve 1A Fairnie Street, Hamlyn Heights 441 D9
Ferndale Reserve 6A Ferndale Parade, Highton 451 E10
Herd Reserve 2A Regent Street, Belmont 451 J11
Hollywood Reserve 12 Hollywood Boulevard, Point Lonsdale 499 J10
Iona Reserve 28A Iona Avenue, Belmont 451 D12
Ising Reserve 8 Ising Street, Newcomb 452 H8
Janet Reserve 3 Janet Court, Newcomb 452 J9
Kindale Reserve 10 Kindale Court, Belmont 465 C3
Kyle Reserve 2A Kyle Avenue, Belmont 451 H9
Lambhill Reserve 282 Mt Pleasant Road, Highton 451 A9
Lancaster Reserve 11 Nelson Avenue, Newcomb 452 K10
LJ Keavy Park 25 Eureka Street, Geelong West 451 G3
Maynooth Reserve 4A Maynooth Drive, Norlane 431 H10
McShane Reserve 6 McShane Court, Rosewall 432 F5
Milton Reserve Milton Street, Bell Park 441 F7
Morris Reserve 18A Morris Street, Belmont 451 G10
Osborne House 78 Osborne Avenue, Nth Geelong 441 H7
Pitman Avenue Reserve 2-6 Silver Street, Newcomb 452 J9
Rippleside Park 42 Bell Parade, Rippleside 442 A10
Rodborough Reserve 23A Rodborough Crescent, Corio 432 B6
St Helens Park 9-21 Holden Avenue, Nth Geelong  
Stan Swain Childrens Playground 50 Westmoreland Street, Whittington 466 H1
Stork Reserve 26A Stork Avenue, Belmont 465 H1
Stradling Reserve 6 York Street, Geelong 452 A1
Thornbury Reserve 3A Thornbury Lane, Highton 451 C8
Tilly Reserve 7 Tilly Court, Newcomb 452 J9
Vincent Park 59 Truscott Street, Whittington 452 J11
Wilton Avenue Reserve 25 Wilton Avenue, Newcomb 452 H9

Dog Controls in Coastal and Other Open Space Areas

The following maps (19 in total) show various coastal beaches, reserves and open space areas within the City of Greater Geelong. The maps commence at the south western boundary of the municipality and work around the coastline to the north eastern boundary near Little River.

Map number Description
Map 1 Overview of Municipality Coastline.
Map 2 Designated ‘Off Leash - Supervised’ Areas within Sporting Complexes and Reserves.
Map 3 Redgum Island, Fyansford Common – Barwon River.
Map 4 Breamlea Beach and Bancoora Beach.
Map 5 Ocean Grove, Collendina and Point Lonsdale Beaches.
Map 6 Black Rock; Thirteenth Beach; Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove. Land is managed by Barwon Coast Committee of Management who has determined existing dog controls. Council has adopted these dog control controls.
Map 7 Swan Bay and Edwards Point. Land is managed by Parks Victoria.
Map 8 8A: Portarlington
8B: The Esplanade
8C: Indented Head
8D: St Leonards
8E: St Leonards to Edwards Point
Land is managed by Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management who determines their dog control orders. Council at its discretion may adopt such orders.
Map 9 Ramblers Road; The Dell; Jetty Road and west of Jetty Road Beaches Clifton Springs.
Map 10 Point Henry (east and west side).
Map 11 Waterfront Precinct, Geelong.
Map 12 Western Beach; Rippleside Beach and St Helens Beach.
Map 13 Moorpanyal Beach, North Shore; Shell Foreshore (beach area); Grammer School beach; Limeburners Lagoon and Avalon Beach.
Map 14 Batesford Reserve, Batesford.
Map 15 Land along Barwon River from Queens Park Bridge to Breakwater. This land is managed by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (with a small portion managed by Barwon Water near the MacIntyre Footbridge). Existing dog controls have been implemented by these land managers and Council does not have the authority to amend these controls.

Colour coding of the maps demonstrates dog controls at a glance. The category of controls in turn relate back to Council’s Policy on Dogs in Public Places.

It should be noted that the maps are not inclusive of all open space areas within the City of Greater Geelong. The areas depicted are those where Council has made a decision in relation to dog controls. As the plan evolves more open space areas may become subject to ‘On Leash – Supervised’ requirements.

6. Quality Records

Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.


Retention/Disposal Responsibility

Retention period


Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994

Victorian Government



Domestic Animal Management Plan




7. Attachments

Page last updated: Friday, 6 April 2018