Legally nude move

The Queensland Naturist Association (QNA) is calling for the legalisation of clothing optional status at Alexandria Bay following the recent fines issued by police for willful exposure.

“Alexandria Bay has a long history of being a popular spot for naturists and nudists, and it is time for the beach to be recognised as a legal clothing optional beach,” QNA president Rachael Freeman said.

“Alexandria Bay is one of the most picturesque beaches in Australia, and it has a long history of being a popular destination for naturists and nudists. “Over the years, the beach has attracted people from all walks of life, including families, couples, and individuals of all ages. However, the recent fines issued by the police for indecent exposure have left many naturists and nudists feeling frustrated and disappointed.”

Last week during a blitz on A-bay, which included the deployment of a drone across the beach and dunes, Noosa police issued fines for wilful exposure to 10 men and one woman.

Noosa Senior Sergeant Anthony Cowan said police were responding to complaints, mostly to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, not only of nudity but of lewd acts.

But Ms Freeman objected to the inference nudists were behaving badly. “Naturism and nudism is not about lewd behaviour, but about body acceptance and a connection with nature,” she said. “At QNA, we do not tolerate indecent behaviour, and we encourage everyone to respect each other’s boundaries.

“Unfortunately, lewd behaviour sometimes occurs at Alexandria Bay because it is not recognised as a legal clothing optional beach. A well-attended clothing optional beach deters unwanted elements and makes the beach a safer and more welcoming place for everyone.”

Ms Freeman said local naturists were aware of a man who had been visiting A-Bay recently and acting inappropriately and had chased him off.

“He was there on Sunday but he saw police and took off,” she said. “The police were not looking at who was causing the problems. They got the wrong people.”

Ms Freeman said the nudists had long had a good working relationship with local police and were happy to report any problems to them.

In past years QNA has organised community events at A-Bay including the Nude Olympics which had surf lifesavers and police in attendance, but no clothing optional legalisation and complaints had caused the event that had attracted about 600 people to move to Byron Bay, she said.

Mainland states in Australia began legalising clothing optional beaches in 1975 with all but Queensland now boasting legal nudist beaches.

“That’s 48 years we’ve been trying to bet Queensland to catch up with the rest of the country,” said Ms Freeman who exalts the benefits of nudism.

“QNA has thousands of members who enjoy naturism and nudism, and we are a not-for-profit association that promotes body positivity, mental health, and healthy lifestyles in an inclusive environment,” she said.

“Naturists come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds, including young and old, and many families.

“Studies have shown that naturism and nudism have a positive impact on body positivity and mental health. A study by the University of Central Florida found that naturists have higher levels of body satisfaction and self-esteem than non-naturists. Another study by the University of London found that naturists have a more positive body image and are more accepting of their bodies than non-naturists.”

Ms Freeman said QNA was calling on the government to recognise the benefits of naturism and nudism and legalise the clothing optional status at the southern end of Alexandria Bay where there was no through traffic and it would not infringe on walkers on national park trails.