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.