Dogs will be allowed on all grassed areas and paths at the new Binalup/Middleton Beach precinct after the Albany council went against officer-recommended changes to the City of Albany’s dog exercise area policy. Councillors voted 10-1 at last Tuesday’s meeting in support of an amended motion by Cr Paul Terry to allow dogs on leads on all grassed areas and paths in the precinct, from Three Anchors to the caravan park. Dogs will still be prohibited on the Ellen Cove beach. By supporting the amended motion, the council went against part of a recommendation from City officers to allow dogs on leads only on the grassed area “south of the caravan park and north of the surf club”. In his reasoning for the alternate motion, Cr Terry said a survey of residents indicated there was “broad support” for allowing dogs on leads on all grassed areas in the precinct. An online survey in March drew 150 responses relating to the proposed changes at Binalup/ Middleton Beach, and 86 for changes at Rushy Point, as well as an additional 148 written submissions. A City report published ahead of the meeting stated the survey showed “many dog owners would like to take their dogs everywhere with them”. However, the recommendation to only allow dogs on leads on the section of grass between the surf club and caravan park was considered “a good compromise”. “Allowing dogs on all grassed areas would not cater for those who do not want dogs everywhere,” the report said. “To allow dogs on an additional area of grass to the south of the surf club would be confusing for users, as well as difficult for the rangers to enforce.” Changes were also approved at last Tuesday’s meeting to the City’s Dog Exercise, Prohibited and Rural Leashing Areas Policy at Rushy Point. Dogs will now be allowed in an area on the eastern side of Rushy Point, south of the existing bollards. They will be banned from a section along the northern foreshore of Rushy Point Reserve to protect migratory shorebirds. Signage will be installed to explain the changes to users.