Why stop at one nude beach? Make them all "clothes optional"
Friday 10.30 am: IN A final hour bid, Councillor Paul Spooner flipped his entire agenda regarding nudity at Tyagarah Beach to propose the extension of clothing optional beaches in the shire.
What was originally thought to be a debate about closing the beach was completely altered when Cr Spooner approached the meeting with a controversial motion.
"The feedback from a lot of people is that they wanted that option to able to have a swim or sunbath on a beach not just at Tyagarah," Cr Spooner said.
"Tyagarah has got itself a reputation because of its use around that area for people engaging in public sex acts and that is not the sort of place families want to go to."
Resident Gyan Moyes said he was shocked by Cr Spooner's proposal.
"I came here to support a motion that wanted to close the beach down and he came out with a motion to extend the area," Mr Moyes said.
However, Cr Spooner's proposal was rejected as deputy mayor Basil Cameron's amendment to erect signs came out on top with a six for three against outcome.
"I believe by putting up signs make it clear to everyone what's expected and not expected at that beach then we are giving that community the ability to stand up to those who would come and do otherwise there," Cr Cameron said.
Whilst Cr Cameron did not vote for Cr Spooner's motion he said there were some aspects he agreed with.
"I think in some ways we would be better off to declare all beaches clothes optional rather than trying to find one isolated beach where we make that distinction," Cr Cameron said.
"The proposal by Cr Spooner would of required a lot more community engagement but I am also hopeful that we will also get that out of the successful resolution that I put forward today."
Local Byron resident and naturalist David Dixon said he was pleased with the outcome.
"I'd rather see us manage the one beach we've got before we start talking about making the shire a nudist colony," Mr Dixon said.
"I am hopeful that with the signs going up and if the police are involved that we will see progress in that time frame."
The decision was set to be revisited in three to six months.
Thursday 1pm: BYRON councillors voted down Cr Paul Spooner's motion to make all the shire's beaches (with some exceptions) "clothes optional".
Instead, Tyagarah Beach will remain a nudist beach.
The amendment, put forward by Crs Cameron and Coorey, was to erect signs within the next two weeks declaring Tyagarah Beach a clothes optional beach 200m south of Grays Lane for a distance of 800m
The motion also said the council would "work with NPWS, beach users, police and community safety committee to enhance safety at Tyagarah Beach".
The council will also support police action to deter inappropriate behaviour.
A report will be brought before the council in six months to "detail the results of the enhanced stakeholder safety initiatives".
Thursday 12pm: A MOTION to make all Byron Shire beaches available for nude bathing - with eight sections of beaches excepted - is being debated at today's council meeting.
Cr Paul Spooner, in asking for the council to revoke the "clothes optional" status of Tyagarah Beach, added a second part to his motion.
It is to allow the use of all Byron Shire beaches for nude bathing except for the following beaches (or part thereof):
- Broken Head and Suffolk Park (from the Byron Shire boundary on Seven Mile Beach through to the Scott St walking track on Tyagarah Beach)
- Wategos Beach - from Little Wategos to the end of Wategos
- Clarkes and Main Beach - from The Pass to the beginning of the Cavanbah Reserve Beach
- Belongil Beach - from Kendall St to the beginning of the Tyagarah Nature Reserve
- Brunswick Heads Beach - from the Brunswick breakwall south to the beginning of the Tyagarah Nature Reserve
- All of Torakina Beach
- New Brighton Beach - from North Head through to Ocean Avenue
- South Golden Beach - from South Golden Beach Community Centre north for 1km.