Ballsy move to bring Nude Olympics to Byron Bay
FEAR of arrest will see Noosa wiped as the venue for the naked sports carnival known affectionately as the Nude Olympics after six decades of staging the event at Alexandria Bay.
Local nude bathing advocates are to hold talks with Sunshine Coast police about clothes free options, but it is too late to save the Noosa gathering of about 600 locals and visitors in March.
Australian Naturist Federation president Greg Serow is already planning on taking the event to Byron Bay over fears carnival goers will be arrested for wilful exposure.
"I don't know how we are going to fix this up,” Mr Serow said.
"It's down and gone (the nude sports carnival).
So we're not doing it - we're going to New South Wales. It will be Belongil Beach (at Byron Bay) or (nearby) Tyagarah (Nature Reserve).
Mr Serow said the ANF estimates for the revenue it would cost Noosa was more like $4-$6 million rather than a previous estimate of $2 million.
"We've always thought of Noosa as a progressive place - you used to have hippies in the main street selling tie-dye stuff,” he said.
"We're copying the American society where nudity means sex, as opposed to the European society where nudity means nothing like that.”
He said clothing optional beach supporters did speak to the Minister for Police Mark Ryan at a recent fundraisier about their concerns and "he sounded like he was interested in doing something about it”.
However he said a formal written reply was "somewhat vague”.
"They always say we can't allow this to happen for the safety of the community,” he said.
Mr Ryan's chief of staff Ellen McIntyre said the Minister requested advice from the police service and was told the wilful exposure legislation was "designed to provide for the protection and safety of Queenslanders”.
"As such, there are no plans to change current legislation dealing with wilful exposure at this time,” she said.
Mr Ryan did advise the clothes-free beach lobby to meet with police at Maroochydore to discuss the matter further, and representatives will pursue this option to try and clarify the situation. Mr Serow asked which community was in considered to be in danger - the nudists who had been arrested in recent times or others who may be offended?
He was was informed by Noosa lifesavers, who usually receive a $750 donation, they cannot provide special patrols at A Bay "because the activity is deemed illegal”.
Mr Serow said lifesavers already did standard patrols at Alexandria Bay and any visit by patrol members would not be at any request by the ANF "but simply for the purposes of ensuring people are not drowning”.