Saturday, May 22, 2010
I have adapted this well-known truism to the ongoing vigilance required to protect the clothing optional beaches that Sydney now enjoys.
As we have seen in recent times Sydney’s Mosman Council has again petitioned the State government opposition to revoke the clothing optional status of both Cobblers and Obelisk beaches when they get into power after the state election next year.
The Mosman Daily, local newspaper, has been reporting the debate and on their website they have invited public comment. The overwhelming responses were from supporters of retaining the current status of these two beaches. This was no doubt as a result of a call to action that went out on Naturist websites.
The attack on the beaches was a thinly veiled effort with the thrust of the argument running along the line that there was an increase in antisocial behaviour, because of the beaches clothing optional status. This antisocial behaviour, largely anecdotal, revolved around acts of public sex in a nearby bushland and “strange” men loitering around the nearby oval and public toilets. It was also noted that he area around Obelisk Beach has been referred to as a “Gay Beat” on some Gay websites.
As one Naturist observed this position makes as much sense as banning cars to stop drunk drivers!
This is the same type of campaign that the previous Mayor of Mosman started to run the 2007.
The situation is that the beaches were enacted by state government legislation and therefore the zoning was taken out of the control of the local council. So in order to change the legal status of the beaches. A motion would need to be put to State Parliament, and then passed to amend section 633 of the local government act.
It was pleasing to note that the opposition local member made the following public statement in the Mosman Daily:
North Shore State Liberal MP Jillian Skinner said she would not push for legislative change to outlaw nude bathing at Obelisk and Cobblers until she got word from police that lewd activity in nearby areas had become a major problem.
“If I get strong lobbying from the police, residents and the council who are genuinely concerned about illicit acts occurring near these beaches I will lobby for it,” Mrs Skinner said.
“I don’t condone that behaviour, it’s very worrying ... but at this stage I haven’t heard from many people.”
Don't let the statement fool you, Mosman Council will continue to lobby State politicians to try and have the clothing optional status of our beaches removed.
I would urge all Naturists to write to their local member of Parliament in support of the maintenance of, not only these two clothing optional beaches, but of all beaches that are designated clothing optional in the State.
The last thing that we can underestimate is the power of the “wowser” element within our society.
Jillian Skinner, has made it clear that she is looking for feedback from the community before taking a position on this matter. So I would encourage you, if you have an interest in maintaining these beaches, to write, e-mail, or call your local member and make your position known.