Nude beach now safer, but naturalists want more space
BYRON Shire Council voted yesterday to extend the clothes optional trial at Tyagarah Beach.
Almost six months ago council resolved to implement a number of signs and increase police presence, given the number of sexual and indecent assault occurring at the secluded beach front.
During public access, members of the Byron Naturalist Group called on council to declare the trial a success and requested them to extend the area in which beach-goers could bathe clothes optional.
"We respectfully ask council to extend the southern boundary for an extra kilometre," Debra Conomy said.
"Dogs and horses now have more beach access than the community's naturalists."
"Accessing the beach requires a 400 metre walk from the car park to the beach and a further 1.5km along the beach to the clothing optional section."
However, councillors respectfully declined and said they would readdress the boundaries follow another six month trial.
"What is in place right now is working and we need to give it another six months, keep working with the community group that's been formed with all the major stakeholders (police, council, naturalists) working together to find the best way forward," Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said.
"We know the sexual assaults and sexual practise has largely been minimised and so people have been able to swim in an area which they haven't been for over a decade."
A report from NSW police, has revealed a drop in undesirable behaviour since the installation of the council and National Parks and Wildlife Service signage and a increase in police presence and enforcement in the area.
Councillors thanked the Byron Naturalist Group for the work they have done in assisting them and police to make the beach safer.