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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Skinny dippers paying the price for others’ bad behaviour

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Yuti McLean, Mullumbimby.

It is shame a ‘harmless’ 60-year-old couple doing a skinny dip got fined. However seen in context of the whole issue in the whole region we can look at the practical sides of fixing up this dilemma.

The new signage in the Tyagarah area has been very helpful to clear up the huge sexual problem at Tyagarah Lake, Tyagarah Beach parking area, and Tyagarah Beach. And the presence of the police daily has also highly changed the atmosphere of these places into a safer cleaner feeling. The difference of the atmosphere at the car park area is incredible.

Please note: the council proposed to put up the signs and have the police patrol trial for a period of a few months. The idea was then to review what is working and what is not. So all who are making comments here can be part of a co-creation.

I have noticed many skinny dippers still wanting to do their thing at the Sunrise Beach end, as well as hearing of those at the Brunswick Beach end. Also at the Sunrise Beach there seems to be no clear signage; as during my last Byron to Tyagarah walk, a naked man was blatantly lying right beside the pathway where people enter and leave the beach, and it provoked a man passing by with his wife to angrily kick sand on this man and tell him to go off to the nude beach. This man was apparently unaware it was not the nude beach!

And we saw a few other men a bit further north of the path in having a nude dip. Some of these who genuinely come just for a dip and lie in the sun are not willing either to put bathers on or to walk all the way down to Tyagarah end.

And it is in the dune bush area at the entrance to Sunrise Beach where a huge amount of wankers have been hiding, then harassing women, before and after this beach clean up. So that might be why the man kicked sand at the man lying nude. Better signage is needed there perhaps.

Maybe there needs to be a clothing optional area signed also 200 meters south from Brunswick Beach main public area, for also a 800 meter stretch, (well signed at both ends) so it is legal for the skinny dippers to do it there. The same could be at the Sunrise Beach area, 200 meters north from the entrance. This could also mean that Tyagarah is not getting all the extra traffic along Grays Lane for anyone who wants to skinny dip or sunbathe nude. (The state of Grays Lane Road is a very big problem for locals).

Those having to drive from Brunswick or Sunrise to Tyagarah Beach to get a skinny dip does seem to be asking a bit much and may not be realistic. And it is a shame if the ‘harmless’ nudes are charged $500. But overall, please, those who are (consciously or unconsciously) breaking rules and being charged, work towards achieving a situation at your end – just like it is now at Tyagarah where the signs are clear and you have a place to safely be skinny dipping.

And honour the reasons why this first attempt of a clean up has needed to happen as it is only those living along Grays Lane who realize how horrific it can get to have sexual exploitation in your face daily at four very local places which have once been beautiful and safe places to skinny dip and have families play in. And maybe we can make the job easier for the police. They stop and chat in a friendly way to those who are naked in the clothing optional area; so maybe there can be a way of working together.

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  1. In response to Yuti, I truly agree with your idea of perhaps Council agreeing to open up extra clothing optional areas both North of Grays Lane at Brunswick Heads and also North of Sunrise Beach. It’s clear that Grays Lane as you’ve stated has now an influx of more vehicle to a road that clearly was never meant for such traffic, the dust and pot hole damage to roads being a huge problem I’d imagine for locals.
    With more adequate parking at Bayshore Drive, what does put off many is not only the distance at the walk in but also a further 1100 metres to Clothing Optional Beach. For some this is not physically possible. Brunswick Heads I am unfamiliar with so will not comment but I do know Police accessibility is easier for police vehicles to access and I’m sure if this was in fact to be designated Clothing Optional it appears it will be a safe family beach for those who support a Naturist Lifestyle.
    It makes a great deal of sense to, as Yuti has stated to open up more areas designated as clothing optional.
    For the time being though, we are all ensuring our beautiful 800 metres of clothing optional beach are there now and for the future generations for all to enjoy.
    Congratulations to all, without the whole community coming together, the past lewd behaviour that had threatened to destroy our Beaches may now be eradicated.
    Thanks Yuti for your comment.

  2. There is a lot of words here just to say that big money is being diverted from a few members of Tyagarah to prop up the politics of the capital city of the state of NSW, that of Sydney.
    Sydney needs the money.

  3. I recently visited Tyagarah beach for the first time in months and the feeling of liberation was awesome. I no longer felt intimidated threatened and humiliated by the sex pests. Thankyou Byron Bay police for your great support in protecting women and children against abuse. Me Too!

  4. I am extremely happy with the work the police are doing alongside the work of National Parks and Byron Council with the signing (and also Elements for helping police have access to the beach) in bringing safety for all local women and children and men in our region. I want the Tyagarah Beach to remain as it now: signed and respected with clear boundaries, and when I was mentioning similar signage up at Brunswick i want it to be clear the direct north part of Tyagarah Beach will remain being not a clothing optional area…..but the direct south part of Brunswick Heads beach might be the same set up as ours at Tyagarah….200 metres south of the main beach entrances a sign for clothing optional beach and 800 metres further south and sign saying that is the end of it. We need to keep things very clear for the police as well as for us so safety is the essence of all we create. The north side of Tyagarah Beach became far too overpopulated with sexual parading etc so it is best to keep that as it is now and stick with the 800 metres already signed on the south side. I hope this is clear.

  5. The major point of this issue is being missed here.
    The vast majority of comments on the subject from the community are saying “these people shouldn’t have been fined”.
    So the police have a simple choice – they either accept the will of the people and retract the fines or they demonstrate to the community that they don’t care what the community wants and they will selectively enforce laws as it suits them.
    Every year hundreds of cyclists ride around town in the nude for a good cause and everyone supports them and the police allow it.
    A few months later a mature couple swim naked on a deserted beach and they are fined hundreds of dollars.
    If police want and need community support, as they often proclaim, they should realise it’s a two way street and they need to support the community.
    Retract the fines.

  6. The people were fined by police for offensive behaviour by police who were on a near deserted beach to patrol through a nude beach secton.
    Case dimissed.

  7. Freedom from sexually intimidating, and threatening males feels immeasurably more important than the freedom to swim costume free. To males who are protesting police actions you may be better employed assisting in ridding our beaches of sex pests by confronting vice, perversion and abuse when you see it. If unsure of the expression of these just consult earlier letters and comments to the Echo.


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