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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Would a state Labor gov’t end nude bathing at Tyagarah?

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The Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh meeting with Tyagarah residents over the clothing-optional status of Tyagarah Beach. Photo supplied.

The Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh, has threatened Byron Shire Council with state intervention over the clothes-optional (CO) status of Tyagarah Beach following a meeting with local residents.

I have met with local residents and share their concerns that the beach is currently unsafe. Local families, women, children and the public are not, and do not feel, safe using Tyagarah Beach. The submissions of local police reinforces this position,’ said Mr Pugh.

‘The safety of the beach users at Tyagarah must come first. The beach has become unsafe for visitors and for local residents and so the clothing-optional area should be closed.’

While Mr Pugh recognises that decisions over CO beaches should remain with local councils he believes the state government also has a responsibility to ensure the safety of people using National Parks and Crown Land.

To drive the agenda of closing the CO beach Pugh says that under Labor the state government  would ‘withdraw the consent of Crown Lands and the National Parks and Wildlife Service’ for the signs identifying the CO section of the beach as they are currently located on crown land ‘until such time as community safety is adequately addressed by Council’.

Community decision

Local Greens state member for Ballina, Tamara Smith, has responded to Pugh’s comments saying that it is ‘disappointing that some politicians are calling for top down state intervention on a local community decision’.

‘I am very wary of calls for the state government to intervene in what is a local council issue and a community issue – let’s remember that this is how we got West Byron and how we get deemed refusals for unwanted developments getting decided by the state and not the community.

‘Byron has long been a place that supports alternative lifestyles and diverse communities and Tyagarah beach is loved by nude bathers both locally and by visitors.

The issue is the culture at the beach has shifted and has enabled opportunity crime. There is nothing inherent about a nude beach that enables crime but the combination of isolation, the Internet and increased tourism numbers has meant the culture has shifted and everyone wants to see that change.

If we want to have a larger conversation about do we want a nude beach in Byron Shire then let’s have it. The question with Tyagarah is how we change the culture.’

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  1. An alternative that would remove a lot of the problem would be to declare ALL beaches clothing optional,and have a few out of the way places for people who are offended. You don;t have to be naked on a clothing optional beach, so no problems for locals and others. This would remove the incentive to misbehave.

  2. Asren Pugh has not been told all the facts and should not listen to the noisy minority .If he is chassing votes he will certainly lose more votes than he will gain!

  3. Good lord……how on earth does Asren draw the conclusion that the beach is unsafe? Is Kings Beach unsafe too? Perhaps that should also be closed to nude bathing.
    My friend David offers the best solution to this issue I have heard.
    “A masturbators only” zone.
    Politicians who attempt to capitalise on such marginal and trite issues could reasonably be expected to go and sit there too.

    • Hey David, by the look of the people in the photo I think they are safe from harm. Pack of bigots trying to control everyone& everything…….

  4. these people who are the Tyagarah residents know what they are in for when they buy/move/rent there.

    Get over yourselves and go north on the beach towards Byron if you want to feel safe.

    You cant control people all of the time. We were born Naked !

  5. Tyagarah (Grays Lane ) locals are extremely unlikely to ever give up their very vocal campaign to have the Tyagarah CO beach closed, even if the Labor Government doesn’t get elected.

    Time for Council to ‘bite the bullet’ and use it’s power under NSW LG Act Section 633 to designate a section of a patrolled town beach as clothing optional. It seems to have worked in Sydney.

    Council’s budget for signage and security cameras would be put to better use at a town beach clothing optional area, rather than getting vandalized at Grays Lane.

    Win-win for Tyagarah residents and for genuine naturists.

  6. Alternatively, perhaps Council would consider moving the CO area to Tallow Beach. There would better access for beach patrons and police to visit from the town, and many fewer properties on the approaching access road. So hopefully fewer residential objections than has been the case at Grays Lane. NPWS could maintain their revenue by relocating their parking fee infrastructure from Tyagarah.


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