Reprieve for locals in fight to save Byron Bay nude beach


Byron Bay naturists protest planned closure of nude beach
Image: courtesy of Byron Naturists

Locals fighting to save a nude beach near Byron Bay have won a few months’ reprieve, with a looming shutdown pushed back until late June.

Tyagarah Beach was first designated a nudist bathing spot in 1998. At the time, Byron Shire Council officially declared the spot “clothing optional”.

But in a huge twist last year, a land survey revealed NSW Parks and Wildlife Service (NWPS) was the managing authority of the 800m stretch of shoreline, not the council.

In December, the NPWS told the Council it didn’t support the beach because its clothing-optional status “isn’t consistent with the values the reserve is managed under”.

Outraged locals petitioned and protested to save the beach. Last week, 150 naturists staged a naked protest on the beach (above) against the decision.

Last week, Byron Shire Council discussed the issue at a meeting. Councillors agreed their 1998 decision was redundant and Tyagarah Beach’s future was out of their hands.

Revoking the clothing-optional status would mean bathers who go nude would risk fines of up to $1100.

However, the council meeting heard that NPWS are delaying the shutdown for months to allow more community consultation.

The beach’s “clothing-optional” signage was to be removed by April 8. But there’s now a new deadline of June 30.

Greens councillor Duncan Dey told the meeting he supported nude bathing and Tyagarah Beach. He said locals had won the reprieve by speaking out.

“[NWPS] have agreed that they have to consult. It’s a good thing and the community has achieved that,” he said.

Byron Bay naturists protest closure of nude beach
Image: courtesy of Byron Naturists

Local naturists campaign to save Tyagarah Beach

President of Byron Naturists, Bradley Benham, is glad to see the “abrupt and unilateral decision” to revoke Tyagarah’s clothing optional status paused.

“Openness, communication, and procedural fairness have been lacking until now,” he said.

Bradley said losing the region’s only clothing-optional beach over a “bureaucratic technicality” was devastating.

“This is the only legal nude beach for the people of the Northern Rivers,” he said.

“If Tyagarah goes, our nearest legal nude beach will be over six hours away, in Nelson Bay.

“It’s absurd that dog owners and their pets would then have five designated beaches in the Shire, while nudists and skinny-dippers would have none.”

Bradley said the Byron Naturists want “constructive, evidence-based discussions” with NSW Parks and Wildlife Service about Tyagarah’s future.

Read also:

Locals are fighting to save Byron Bay nude beach

Support in Noosa to finally legalise unofficial nude beach

The war of the dick togs: our Greatest Moral Battle

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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