Councillor backs conduct code to safeguard nude beach-goers

By STEPHANIE FORESTER

A 'NUDE beach code' could be developed for Tyagarah Beach, according to Byron Shire deputy mayor Richard Staples.

Responding to residents' concerns about a 'culture of sexual harassment' on the beach, which is the shire's only legal nude beach, Cr Staples said he would support the development of a code of behaviour, or any other measures, that would ensure the safety of local families at the beach.

Tyagarah resident and local teacher, Belinda Fleming, said a public meeting would be held tonight to brainstorm ideas for the code.

She said she welcomed Cr Staples' support.

"It's really important that those people who lobbied for Tyagarah to be clothing-optional share responsibility for ensuring the safety of women and children down there," she said.

"We have no problem with Tyagarah being a nude beach, but we do have a problem with women being threatened by perverted behaviour."

Cr Staples was a strong supporter of the establishment of Tyagarah as a 'free beach' in 1998.

He said that if there was 'evidence of ongoing risk' at the beach, 'we'd certainly have to look at it'.

"And if the whole thing becomes a monster, then the council will have to change the rules," he said.

The public meeting to brainstorm ideas for a safer beach will be held in Tyagarah Hall tonight from 5-7pm.



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