Support in Noosa to finally legalise unofficial nude beach

Stock photo of man reclining on rock at nude beach
Stock photo of naturist at nude beach. Image: Ivan Moreno/Canva

A local MP’s survey has revealed support from Noosa residents to change state law and designate Alexandria Bay an official nude beach.

Alexandria Bay – or A-Bay – in Noosa has been an unofficial clothing-optional spot for Sunshine Coast naturists for decades.

But since April, the beach has made national headlines when police cracked down after complaints.

Last month, a 53-year-old man pleaded guilty after he was charged with wilful exposure after a police drone filmed him appearing to commit an indecent act in the sand dunes.

Officers also slapped 11 people – 10 men and one woman – with infringement notices for wilful exposure. Police warned at the time patrols of the area would continue.

Since then, the Queensland Naturist Association has stepped up calls to make A-Bay a legal nude beach. Queensland is one of very few jurisdictions in Australia without them.

Wilful exposure charges ‘extremely distressing’

Noosa’s independent state MP Sandy Bolton said two of those charged with wilful exposure, aged in their 80s, had approached her about the “extremely distressing” charges for attending the beach.

She ran the survey and now wants the state government to review clothing optional beaches in Queensland. Bolton said 973 locals responded.

Of those, 820 (84%) supported legalising nude beaches. Of those, 798 (96.5%) backed designating A-Bay a legalised, clothing-optional beach.

Bolton said those against were concerned clothing optional beaches would lead to an increase in inappropriate behaviour.

“As part of researching these concerns, we have sought information from states that host clothing optional beaches,” she said.

Supporters have argued more beachgoers would report inappropriate behaviour if the beach itself was legal.

Two weeks ago MP Sandy Bolton questioned Police Minister Mark Ryan and Local Government Minister Steven Miles on the issue.

In parliament, she asked both to commit to a review or explain the rationale if not.

Sunshine Coast Police Superintendent Craig Hawkins told the Courier-Mail A-Bay patrols would continue. He said police were primarily concerned with occurrences of indecent behaviour.

“We’ve had people approach us that admit to undertaking nudist activity on the beach but no longer feel safe to do so because of the indecent acts that are taking place,” he said.

“They feel their safety is being compromised and don’t feel safe.”

Making Noosa’s Alexandria Bay a legal nude beach would first require change to Queensland law, then the support of the local council.

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