Update - 25 November 2021

City of Greater Geelong Councillors have considered public feedback on the first year of a trial dog-free area at Ocean Grove Main Beach. The endorsement of the public feedback by Councillors means dog control orders will be put in place for the second year of the trial.

Barwon Coast and the City of Greater Geelong are working together on the trial, which began on 1 January 2021 after previous feedback highlighted the need for an area of beach to be set aside as dog-free all year round.

Feedback from both dog walkers and non-dog walkers on the dog-free trial was encouraged during the six-week community engagement period.

In total, 1140 people shared their views about the dog control orders on the section of the beach where the Surf Life Saving Club is based, and which is also popular with swimmers, surfers and Nippers.

The survey results showed 76 per cent of respondents were dog owners. Of these respondents, 72 per cent were from Ocean Grove and 12 per cent from Barwon Heads.

You can read the full report here, also located in this page's Document Library.

Update - 27 September 2021

This engagement closed Sunday 26 September. Please click the +Follow button at the top of the page to ensure you stay up-to-date as this project progresses.


Barwon Coast and the City of Greater Geelong want to hear community views on the trial of a dog-free area at Ocean Grove Main Beach.

About Barwon Coast

Barwon Coast Committee of Management (Barwon Coast) is appointed by the Victorian State Government to manage 15kms of coastal land adjacent to Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. The City of Greater Geelong (the City) is responsible for enforcing dog controls in this area under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. Barwon Coast contributes to the cost of the enforcement of the dog controls and runs education programs focused on improving community understanding of dog controls

Barwon Coast and the City consulted on dog controls in 2019-2020 and more than 1700 community members provided feedback. Feedback from the community engagement process was considered against the following criteria:
  • Access and equity for all
  • Simplified compliance
  • Clear, simple signage
  • Personal safety
  • Environmental impacts

The City and Barwon Coast also note and take into consideration the physical fitness and mental health benefits of dog ownership and the benefits of their companionship in public places.

New orders - January 2021

New dog controls were approved and came into force on 1 January 2021. Community feedback highlighted the need for an area of beach to be set aside as dog-free all year round. This would create a dog-free family area and also ensure there is an area for those who prefer to recreate without dogs due to safety or accessibility concerns. Barwon Coast determined that Ocean Grove Main Beach was the most suitable location for this area being a high-use activity node. This area is approximately 805 metres long and is called ‘Area D’ on the map. It has ramp and stairway access to coastal paths at either end.

Trial options

To assess two possible options and to determine which best suits the community, a two-year trial is currently underway in Area D at Ocean Grove Main Beach:
  • Year One (2021) - dog walking is allowed on leash from 1 May to 30 November and prohibited for the remainder of the year.
  • Year Two (2022) - dog walking will be prohibited for the entire year.

Further information

To help you make an informed response please read the ‘Dogs on Beaches’ web page on the Barwon Coast website which explains the current dog controls and the engagement processes that led to their development.

We want to hear from you

Information on community experiences and attitudes about the presence of dogs on Ocean Grove Main Beach will help determine which option best suits all beach user needs.

The following survey focuses on Year One of the trial and also you experience with the implementation of the Dog Control Trials on the Barwon Coast and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. We will run another engagement process in Year Two of the trial.

The survey, via the link below, is open for feedback until 5pm Sunday 26 September 2021.

Ocean Grove Main Beach - trial area

Ocean Grove Main Beach - trial area

Share your views

This engagement closed on Sunday 26 September.

Privacy Clause - Important

The personal information requested on this page is being collected by City of Greater Geelong and Barwon Coast Committee of Management for the purpose of the Barwon Coast Main Beach Dog Control Trial or any other directly related purpose. The information you share will only be disclosed to carry out a deeper analysis of the data* or as required to do so by law. Our privacy policy is available on our website. If you wish to alter any of the personal information you have supplied to City of Greater Geelong, please contact us by sending an email to privacy@geelongcity.vic.gov.au.

*In order to gain a deeper understanding of the data provided to the City and improve our services to you, we will disclose the information you provide to us with our partner Barwon Coast Committee of Management and to our consultant Kismet Forward which will carry out an analysis of the data.

Coronavirus Support

Please visit our Coronavirus Support Page for information about impacts on City events, services and facilities.

The City is guided by the latest advice from Commonwealth and State authorities in our response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Within current restrictions, the City is conducting face-to-face (in person) activities which are delivered in line with the City's COVID Safe Work Plan for the Community Engagement Activities.