The Nude Olympics are officially coming to Byron Bay. After holding it for 60 years in Alexandria Bay, Noosa, organisers have decided it is time to head down the coast to more liberal climes ‘because of the stupid laws in Queensland,’ said Australian Naturist Federation president Greg Serow .
On October 7 they will celebrate their inaugural event on Tyagarah beach just down from the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate.
‘For most of the time that the Nude Olympics were held in Alexandria Bay it was fine and there was never an issue, but a change in the constabulary lead to a change in attitude. The police would come down and check out the couples but arrest the single men,’ continued Serow.
The laws around nudity in Queensland differ from those in NSW where local councils can designate beaches for nude bathing. In Queensland you can be charged for the wilful display of genitals however, ‘The police didn’t engage with the women and targeted men saying that their genitals could be seen whereas women’s genitals were internal,’ continued Serow.
For many years the local lifeguards in Noosa had been part of the safety measures for the Nude Olympics and they had received a donation of $700 a year for keeping people safe in the water. When it was realised that the lifeguards couldn’t accept money from the group as they were performing an ‘illegal act’ they decide that ‘in true Aussie style they might just turn up anyway’ to ensure the safety of the event said Serow with a smile.
‘Everyone thinks it is stupid. But in the end we have decided to move on because no one wants to get arrested.’
Not on council beach
Council has said in a statement to Echoneydaily ‘that there are no clothing optional areas that Council manages, and as such they don’t have Council approval for an event on Council beaches.
‘There is however a clothing optional area of beach which is National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) jurisdiction, and if they access that section of beach by walking (clothed) up the beach from Byron that there is no Council permit as such for a small group of people walking along the beach.’
The Nude Olympics estimate that they brought around $6million to the region each year with the olympics as many people come from around the country including Victoria and South Australia for the fun.