Nudists rally for their clothing-optional beach
CLOTHES were shed en masse at Tyagarah Beach on Sunday as nudists and skinny dippers rallied for the permanence of a clothing-optional beach.
The Nude Not Lewd rally was the first rally on the beach in more than 10 years.
Byron Naturists Group staged the rally to send a message to Byron Shire Council that banning nudity would not make the beach safer.
Sunrise resident Maxine Hawker said the big turnout despite the cold, blustery weather was a show of support to keep the clothing-optional beach open and to "keep people safe from sex pests and predators."
Sunshine Coast resident Jenni Parry said because Queensland did not have a clothing-optional beach, she visited Tyagarah when she could, and had done so over the past five years.
"This beautiful beach is our only option of being legal," Ms Parry said.
"I wont stand for any lewd behaviour taking away our chances of coming and relaxing on a beach and embracing our bodies.
"It's such a glorious way to embrace yourself. It's the most amazing freedom there is in the world."
"We nudists are the ones that are peaceful...why would we get told we're naughty when it's not us (doing the wrong thing)."
She said the signs helped prevent inappropriate behaviour.
Tyagarah Beach has been an unofficial nude beach for decades but after a spike in sexual assaults Byron Shire Council and NSW police cracked down.
In March, the council approved a six-month trial of a nude zone near Grays Lane but demanded clothes be worn around Elements Resort.
Naturists, the council, police and the community agreed the increased surveillance had made the beach safer.