Stuart Whelan, Publisher/Editor, TAN Magazine.
I read with some concern Councillor Paul Spooner’s comments in The Echo that he plans to move a motion calling for the revoking of the clothing optional status for the section of the beach which has been set aside for this purpose since 1998.
I would ask if Councillor Spooner will also be seeking a ban on motor vehicles in the Byron Shire because people have been caught drinking alcohol and then driving and thus putting people’s lives in danger?
This is a rhetorical question, of course, as clearly Councillor Spooner would not do so. Playing Devil’s advocate for a moment longer, the banning of cars could be argued would deny people the access to a beneficial mode of transport but likewise the revoking of the clothes optional status would deny people access to a form of beneficial recreation that has been shown in scientific studies to provide greater life satisfaction by promoting healthy body image and positive self-esteem.
Naturists who enjoy clothing optional use of the beach are also disturbed by the illegal behaviour that has been reported and that has occurred in the precinct surrounding the clothing optional beach. The users want, for their own safety, to be able to enjoy their healthy and enjoyable pastime without the fear of being attacked or seeing illegal activity.
Byron Shire has long been known as a progressive and tolerant place to live, work and visit which in relation to clothing optional beaches puts it light years ahead of its neighbour Queensland that has no clothing optional beaches and yet has the same types of illegal activity around some of their beaches.
Those who wish to undertake illegal and anti-social behaviour have no place on our clothing optional beaches (or anywhere else) and Council should support those that regularly use the beach, the NPWS Rangers and of course the Police who, acting together, can work to stamp out this unwanted behaviour.