LETTER: Call to close nude beach due to Queensland sex pests
LAST weekend saw the Nude Not Lewd Rally at Tyagarah Beach 200 metres south of Grays Lane.
According to the organisers, Byron Naturists Facebook event page they are fighting for their "rights to clothes optional beach.”
The politics around nude bathing is heating up ahead of a decision by Council over the future of clothes optional beaches in the Shire.
One local is in no doubt the clothes optional status of Tyagarah Beach should be removed citing public safety and the threats posed by predatory males looking for sex:
We Tyagarah residents want to remove the 'clothing optional' status from our beach for safety.
We want safety from sexual predators, especially for women and children.
Many of us enjoy swimming naked, but are prepared to forgo this pleasure in order to be safe.
At present the women and children in our community are afraid to go on their own to our local Tyagarah beach. It has been this way for almost 20 years.
We thought that it would be a simple matter to request this change from our council, and were surprised to discover resistance from a naturist/nudist lobby, who want to keep the beach open and extend it.
The strategy adopted to meet needs for safety and maintain a nudist lifestyle, was to increase signage and police patrols.
There has been a six month trial period. Although there has been some improvement, the problem remains.
The clothing optional beach is still dominated by single men looking for sex, mostly from Queensland, who have no compunction in displaying their arousal to women and/or children.
They know they are safe from the law because if reported it is their word against the victim's, so most victims do not bother reporting.
They also know it takes 25 minutes for the police to get there. Plenty of time to skidaddle.
A nudist lifestyle can be practised in the privacy of your own home and garden
Women and children do not need to suffer for this to happen.
In the long term, if we don't do anything, how will local businesses be affected when Byron Bay gets a national reputation for hosting sexual predators?
How long does it take to turn that around? Let's remember that it takes much less time to lose trust than it does to build it back up again.
Let's just suppose it really is a question of safety versus money. How can we find a win-win outcome?