Updated February 14th, 2024 at 11:57 IST

Nude Beach in Australia Faces Closure, Some People Down Under Aren't Happy

The state government wrote to the council that public nudity was “not consistent with the values the reserve is managed under".

Reported by: Digital Desk
Representative image. | Image:AP
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Tyagarah Beach, a beloved spot for naturists both locally and internationally, may soon lose its clothing-optional status, sparking a contentious debate in Byron Bay.

Situated north of Byron Bay, Tyagarah Beach spans 800 meters along the coastline and has been a haven for nude sunbathers for years. However, recent developments have put its future in jeopardy.

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Here is what you need to know

Last year, the New South Wales state government raised concerns about public nudity conflicting with the reserve's values, prompting the Byron Bay Shire Council to consider revoking the clothing-optional policy. The state government wrote to the council that public nudity was “not consistent with the values the reserve is managed under".  The council is set to vote on the matter on February 22, as per a report from CNN News.

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Reports of offensive and obscene behavior and in the adjacent areas have fueled the push for change. Local police have been tasked with addressing public complaints regarding the beach.

Not everyone is happy 

The potential closure has sparked outrage amongst some people. Bradley Benham, president of the Byron Naturists group, launched a petition addressed to Penny Sharpe, the New South Wales environment minister, garnering over 1,100 signatures.

In his petition, Benham states that “nude recreation is a legitimate way of life”.

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Not the first time?

This isn't the first time Tyagarah's clothing-optional status has come under threat. In 2018, a similar proposal was rejected, leading to the installation of CCTV cameras as a compromise.

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Benham, who has been enjoying nude bathing in Byron Shire since childhood, emphasizes the need for designated nude bathing areas, especially considering the increased population and beach usage.

If the measure passes next week, Tyagarah Beach will transition to a swimsuit-mandatory policy starting April 8.

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Published February 14th, 2024 at 11:57 IST