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Byron Shire
July 24, 2021

Anger over Tyagarah Beach clothes-optional decison

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Cr Paul Spooner, Byron Bay

Byron Councillors have sunken to a new low. For some of them it’s now ok to totally ignore the wishes of local residents. 

92 per cent of permanent residents in Tyagarah signed a petition calling for the nude beach to be revoked. That’s as high as the number of residents who wanted to stop CSG.

So, how did Cr’s Coorey, Ndiaye, Hunter and Cameron respond? They ignored the wishes of the local residents and voted to keep the beach open.

Local police have said it is no longer sustainable to police Tyagarah Beach to a safe level. They just don’t have the resources.

Councillors need to acknowledge the sexual assaults and fear of women and men who no longer use the beach because of its isolation and not pretend we are managing this.

What will it take for these councillors to wake up and face the reality of what is occurring on their watch?

Is it time the state government stepped in to protect the residents of Tyagarah from the decisions of Byron Shire Councillors?

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  1. i agree with your position on the closure of Tyagarah as a clothes optional beach. Whilst I support the principle of a clothes optional beach in Byron Shire, Tyagarah has proven itself to be the wrong location and the community safety must be supported. I like the idea of a trial of a new area that could be a better location and encourage you to put a motion to council to initiate a trial in another location that provides greater safety. I don’t agree with the state government stepping in and think it might just be a case of not giving up and ensuring that the issue stays on the agenda and that all councillors recognise community safety as a priority.

  2. I wonder if Cllrs Coorey, Ndiaye, Hunter and Cameron had a female family member sexually harassed or assaulted at Tyagarah that their response would be the same?

    In an era which has supposedly been enlightened by the recent MeToo# movement, how are these Councillors so supportive of maintaining an arrangement that ignores victims and gives facilitates perpetrators?

    The issue has a parallel in US gun control debate. I’m sure that none of the above Councillors would support lax gun laws. Why? We all agree in Australia that the “freedom” of the community in relation to guns should be restrained – due to a minority of people who can (and will) use that “freedom” to cause great harm to others. The result being a sensible restriction put in place for the benefit of the greater community. The alternative we watch on the news in the US day in day out – innocent people are the unnecessary casualties, while perpetrators have complete freedom and access to do whatever they like.

    It would be easy to put in place similar sensible restrictions, instead of facilitating perpetrators, and provide a better solution by putting this beach in a place more readily patrolled by police. No point in arguing that some people who use the beach are pervs. May as well argue for lax gun laws by saying that some gun owners are good people. It completely missed the point.

    This vote is a vote to ensure more females will suffer sexual assault in Tyagarah at some point down the track. When it happens, I wouldn’t be surprised if it council are not legally exposed for failing to exercise their duty of care. I guess we will see when it happens.

    Councillors Coorey and Co are the Ying to America’s Republican, gun-toting Yang.

  3. Many of us moved to Byron because our community has a tradition of working together despite our differences. The Byron naturist community have worked so hard in proving that sustained action makes the clothing optional section of the beach safe for everybody. If you read the police statistics properly you would not deny the enormous change. Perhaps it’s politically convenient for you not to. Comparing the anti CSG campaign with a vocal abolitionist lobby is insulting to people like me, who defended this region against coal seam gas licences granted by your political party in the first place.

    If only you had engaged with both sides of the story, you would see the bigger picture. There is a huge push to develop the area from north Byron to Tyagarah. A resort that want to expand its operations north, a horse riding business to traverse the clothing optional area without coming across nudity, several attempts to expand a 200 home housing estate in Tyagarah and now rumours of a large religious organisation wanting to buy into property adjacent to the tea tree lakes.
    Stop siding with those conservative elements in our community that seek to divide and conquer. As a united community we can continue to drive the creeps out. Those that want to do it with a cricket bat do not belong in the Byron shire that I love and will fight to protect.

  4. Councillor Spooner, can you please explain why you were waving a cricket bat around in the council chamber saying words to the effect of “this is what some Grays Lane residents think is the best way to deal with sex pests”?

    This kind of incitement to vigilante violence is what we have come to expect from One Nation, not a member of the Australian Labour Party. What an appalling stunt!

    Iits little wonder that the ALP is bleeding support to the Greens who, in this case seem much more able to get their heads around Byron’s ‘community values ‘ of inclusion and diversity. Sadly you seem to be more inclined to listen to a small vocal group who take an authoritarian view that nudity is always salacious and that violence is acceptable.

    I hope that, if and when, these antedeluvian ‘moralists’ attack some poor nudist you will resign forthwith… if you have not already been disendorsed by Labor in the meantime.

  5. 92 % per cent is how many actual people? 10 or 20? Hardly indicative of byron as a whole.
    My wife and i have been going there for years without incident.
    I would have preferred the area to extend to north of elements. Easier to park and walk.

    Delta kay can just turn left when she gets to the beach as nobody is there any more. No need to cry for the media.
    Your ancestors can still collect pippies as they traditionally did …..except they will have to be dressed.
    Yuti can join her.

    Lets anaylse the numbers and subtract the ones where people have been fined for skinny dipping or sunbathing outside the declared area.

    Now we are down to a handful. Zero in the declared area.

  6. To Cr Spooner, Cr Hackett and the 92% of Grays Lane Residents, please come back to the beach! cricket bats are not required!! Saturday was a perfect example, several clothed groups of people to the left and several clothed people to the right, indeed some within the confines of the Clothing Optional area……’optional’ it is, the naked ones don’t get offended by the clothed!! It’s not a private beach for residents or naturists, it’s a gorgeous stretch of beach enjoyed safely by many. I even went to the tea tree lakes and enjoyed a safe dip in the beautiful water. If you want the beach less isolated why not extend it to 200m north of Elements, now that’s a great idea, access from both ends… but this idea doesn’t seem to gain any traction…why is that?? Come back to the beach, enjoy the summer and see for yourself rather than follow a media frenzy based on very few facts.

  7. Cr Spooner, I am sure that there is real ‘fear by women and men who no longer use the beach because of its isolation’. However , as they don’t use this beach any longer, I hope they can overcome that past fear, perhaps with professional help.

    As Wayne Penn says above : there is a huge push to develop the area from north Byron to Tyagarah. Nudists will just be another blocking force to expansive development. Lets go elsewhere and come back in ten years to visit another Casuarina/Kimngscliff or worse Coolangatta.

  8. The Adam and Eve Social Club Inc. {Queensland} support the retention of this beach as ‘Clothing Optional’. I believe there has been an outbreak of ‘good behaviour’ in the designated 800m other than an isolated incident. Those who wish to use the beach clothes may turn LEFT at the sand dune. Those who enjoy the nude lifestyle continue to turn right and walk 200m to the legal area.

    Our club would be interested in locals who could form an Adam and Eve sub-branch in the Byron Shire to provide a legal structure for those who enjoy the breeze on their body and our 3m x 3m ‘pop-up’ structures to protect them from the harsh sun in Summer. Search AdamAndEveClub for to connect.

    We have a history from the last Century and wish to work with locals to provide workable solutions.

  9. Cr Spooner, the “residents” of Grays Lane number only 20 to 30 so 92% is only a handful of people who have been very vocal but are a minority compared to more than 2000 signatures on a petition to keep the beach. One wonders what their motives are really to get rid of naturists given that it is the naturists who have been working with police to get rid of sexual predators from the area and to make the CO beach safe for women and children. Most of the sexual assaults and the two rapes and indeed the recent problem with the disgusting male in the carpark, have occurred not on the CO beach but in other areas, some distance from the CO beach. Close the CO Beach and there will be more, not less, sexual assaults in the area because you won’t have the naturists there to drive predators away. Is this what you want? You should be ashamed with YOURSELF because all this nonsence is just delaying putting in CCTV in the carpark and doing real things that will make a difference. Explain that to family of women who are assaulted in the carpark because of your inaction!


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