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Nudist demands right to go free

COOLUM naturist Mark Hayter is tired of breaking the law every time he wants to have a swim at his favourite beach.

Although it appears the State Government, local council, police and lifesavers have turned a blind eye to his criminal activity, this has not been good enough.

Mr Hayter wants to be able to swim naked at Noosa's popular Alexandria Bay legally.

Alexandria Bay hosts the annual "nude Olympics" each March and has been Queensland's "unofficial nude beach" for more than 25 years.

But attempts to make A-Bay legal have got nowhere.

"It's very frustrating as it is such hypocrisy," Mr Hayter said.

"They're burying their head in the sand.

"We got permission from (former Premier) Peter Beattie, this was honoured by Anna Bligh who said the council should make an application. All Bob (Abbot, Sunshine Coast mayor) has to do is get off his bum and make it legal.

"It's annoying that they pass the buck here, there and everywhere."

The buck-passing continued this week. A Sunshine Coast council spokeswoman said a decision on A-Bay needed to be made by Queensland's Parks and Wildlife Services.

"Council has no position on the decision to use Alexandria Bay as a nude beach. This is a State Government decision," the spokeswoman said.

However, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service general manager terrestrial parks Annie Moody said it was a council decision.

"Up to the dunes and back in is national park and the Nature Conservation Act applies," Ms Moody said.

"We have no jurisdiction over the beach and that is a council decision."

Cr Abbot said he had "no concern what happens at A-Bay", but he was not prepared to declare it a free beach as it would require "significant support". "It's a difficult beach to service and we're not prepared to provide the extra service," he said.

Member for Noosa Glen Elmes said he took the view that A-Bay is an unofficial (free beach), everyone knows it's there" and he was happy to "leave sleeping dogs lie" when it came to policing the beach.

However, Mr Elmes was "dead against" making it an official free beach.

"The day you make it official, there will be another plea to make another one official," he said.

"We will get more applications from different groups in different parts of the state and this is not the sort of thing we wish to project as a state. We're better off leaving it as it is."

Cr Vivien Griffin said while she would need to consider the circumstances, she believed it was time a decision was made.

"I'd need to look at the issues around it before making a decision, but I support it getting sorted. It gets passed around each year," Cr Griffin said.


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