Perverts provoke rethink

By STEPHANIE FORESTER

NUDITY should be banned on Tyagarah Beach in an effort to prevent sexual harassment, say some Tyagarah locals.

At Wednesday night's meeting, which was called to discuss the elimination of predatory behaviour on the beach, locals put forward myriad ways of addressing what has become an ongoing con- cern for Tyagarah families.

Tony Hurst, grandfather of Australian Iron Man champions Dane and Ky Hurst, has lived at Tyagarah for 10 years.

He's a keen beachgoer and said 'enough's enough'.

"I'm not against nudity," he said. "I've done what everyone in this area's done privately.

"But these days things have changed.

"The only thing that will change things at Tyagarah is reversing the council's decision to allow nude bathing."

In 1998, Byron Shire Council declared the beach nude.

As a result, what was once a family paradise is now an isolated and often frightening place for women to be on their own, say locals.

About 40 people turned up for the meeting, including mayor Jan Barham and police Inspector Ian Fitzsimmons.

About one-third of the meeting supported Mr Hurst's call for the beach's nude status to be overturned ? even though almost all said they enjoyed the clothing optional area.

"We're willing to trade clothes for safety and the return of families to the beach," said one local.

However, most locals preferred proactive strategies to rid the beach of perverts, including increased signage, volunteer patrols and communication strategies to reverse Tyagarah's online reputation as a 'swingers orgy'.

A working group has been formed and the next meeting will be held at 5.30pm on December 1 in Tyagarah Hall.

Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opinions@north- ernstar.com.au



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