Far North Queensland Free Beach Association (FNQ FBA) 1989 - 2006

Lobby group in far north Queensland, Australia, from 1989 to 2006

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Contact Secretary (2006)

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About FNQ Free Beach Association

About FNQ Free Beach Association

THIS GROUP IS NOT ACTIVE

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Welcome to the Far North Queensland Free Beach Association

In response to several 'commando style' police raids on nude bathers at Buchans Point Free Beach in 1988 and 1989, the FNQ Free Beach Association continues to lobby State and local Governments for the establishment of 'legal' designated clothing optional recreation areas aka free beaches. To achieve our aims the FNQFBA has made detailed submissions to: State Government of Queensland on July 1, 1996 and Cairns City Council on April 1, 1995.
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What about Buchan Point Beach?

Buchan Point Beach in tropical Far North Queensland has been an 'unofficial' Free Beach since the 1950's.

Situated 30 kms north of Cairns in a sheltered cove, the golden sands and calm waters of Buchan Point Beach has been a favourite of locals and tourists for more than 50 years.

Many families have returned year after year for their holidays to enjoy the freedom of nude bathing .
Looking SE towards Buchans Point Beach
Attention: Nudists may be encountered beyond this rock.
Looking SE towards Buchans Point Beach
Click for full size image (37kb)
During that time, police arrests have been sporadic and arbitrary. Of course, getting the laws changed is only the first step. Once that is achieved, suitable beaches must be identified and the Local Government Authorities convinced of the need and benefits of making them 'dress optional'.
Looking down at Buchans Point Free Beach
Looking down from the Cairns/Port Douglas Road
at the secluded Buchans Point Free Beach.
Click for full size image (37kb)
Submissions to Government?

In response to several 'commando style' police raids on bathers at Buchans Point Free Beach, FNQFBA continues to lobby State and local Governments for the establishment of 'legal' designated clothing optional recreation areas. To achieve our aims the FNQFBA has made detailed submissions to:
State Gov. of Queensland on July 1, 1996.
Cairns City Council on April 1, 1995.
What can you do to help
The more members and support we have the more political clout we can demonstrate:
Fax the Politicians (*available soon)
Write a letter to the Ministers
secretaryatfnqfreebeach [dot] org (E-mail: secretary at fnqfreebeach.org)
Postal address:
FNQ Free Beach Association
PO Box 678
Cairns Qld 4870, Australia
Become a Supporter/Member of the FNQFBA
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FNQ Free Beach Association Mission Statement

In response to several 'commando style' police raids on bathers at Buchans Point Free Beach in 1988 and 1989, the FNQ Free Beach Association continues to lobby State and local Governments for the establishment of 'legal' designated clothing optional recreation areas aka free beaches. To achieve our aims the FNQFBA has made detailed submissions to: State Government of Queensland on July 1, 1996 and Cairns City Council on April 1, 1995.

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Membership


On-Line Membership Form

DO YOU WANT YOUR LIFE STYLE TO BECOME LEGAL?

THEN WE NEED

YOU



There are thousands of Queenslanders and tourists who use the many 'condoned' dress optional beaches in this state on a regular basis, but there are no legal ones. This means that every time these people go nude on a beach they risk being arrested and prosecuted.





AIMS of the ASSOCIATION



The initial aim of the Association is to lobby the State Government for a change in the laws to allow Local Government Authorities the option to nominate some suitable sections of beaches in their area where people may legally swim and sunbathe nude if they so desire.





MEMBERSHIP



Membership is open to any person over the age of eighteen years. A membership unit may consist of a single person, couple or family including children under eighteen years. Associate membership is also available to other clubs or groups with similar aims.


The FNQFBA usually meets on the southern end of Buchans Point Beach. If the weather is not so good we will meet in the car park so we can shelter if need be.


You will get notified by mail referring the meeting dates.



Lobbying cost money, for printing, postage, envelopes, telephone calls, etc. The more we have the more effective we can be, so if you can afford it, your donation is most welcome.



BECOME A MEMBER NOW

MEMBERSHIP (PER UNIT)........................$ 5.00

APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

FNQ Free Beach Association

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Click SUBMIT to send the form and to be taken to the Payments page.

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Donate to FNQ FBA or pay Membership Fee

FNQ FBA IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS

Membership Payment Options

Pay $5.00 AUD by cheque made payable to
FNQ Free Beach Association, c/- 20 Rambutan Close, Cairns Qld 4870
 
Pay $ 5.00 AUD for Membership with PayPal
Make a donation to FNQFBA (currently only in Euros)
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North Queensland Nudist Links

2011 Corrected links:
Barrier Reef Sun Club - Cairns
Townsville Nudist Club

Check out our other web links



Barrier Reef Sun Club, Cairns
Link to Australian Nudist Federation
Australian Nudists Federation
Link to Dan's Mountain Biking
Dan's Mountain Biking Tours
Link to Townsville Nudists Club
Townsville Nudists club

Note: If you know of good Queensland nudist related links, please advise webmaster at fnqfreebeach.org

Thanks!!

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Correspondence

Correspondence

THIS GROUP IS NOT ACTIVE

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The Hon. Tom Barton MLA, Minister For Police and Corrective Services - 22 March 1999

MINISTER FOR POLICE AND CORRECTIVE SERVICES

22 MAR 1999

Secretary
Far North Queensland Free Beach Association
Box 678
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary,

I refer to your letter of 25 February 1999 concerning your request for changes to the Vagrants, Gaming and Other Offences Act 1931.

The issue you have raised will be considered as part of the review of the Vagrants, Gaming and Other Offences Act, which will commence in the near future. During that review, extensive community consultation will take place with various interest groups with a view to providing local government bodies with the authority to designate particular beaches as dress optional.

I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

TOM BARTON MLA
Minister for Police and Corrective Services

Ref: 03/07101 F5 JS
P/99/01003

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The Hon. Russell Cooper MLA, Minister For Police and Corrective Services

Minister for Police and Minister for Racing Letterhead

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Racing


08 DEC 1997

Secretary
Far North Queensland Free Beach Association
P0 Box 678
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary,

Thank you for meeting with me at the Kuranda Regional Cabinet Meeting on 1 December 1997.

You would be aware that this was the first time that Cabinet has met in Kuranda. Regional Cabinet Meetings provide an excellent opportunity for Ministers to meet with people to discuss local issues of concern and I welcome these opportunities.

Regarding your support for free beaches in Queensland, although the Vagrants Act Review Committee has recommended options to the Govemment, Cabinet will still have to decide if there should be any changes to the current laws.

If the submission is approved by Cabinet, the amendments required are of a minor nature and could be introduced to Parliament with a number of other minor amendments that are currently under consideration.

The extremely heavy legislative burden during 1997 prevented these miscellaneous amendments from being considered this year. However, it is my intention to take a submission to Cabinet in 1998.

I trust this advice is of assistance to you and your organisation.

Yours sincerely

RUSSELL COOPER MLA
Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Racing

PO Box 195 Brisbane Albert Street Q 4002, Queensland. Telephone: (07) 3239 0199 Facsimile: (07) 3236 3622

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M/s Marion Smith, Senior Ministerial Policy Advisor ** Important ** - 2 July 1997

Minister for Police and Minister for Racing Letterhead

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Racing


Ref: MS/NE:070497.MIN1721/2

-2 JUL 1997

Secretary
Far North Queensland Free Beach Association
PO Box 678
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary

I refer to your last letter of 3 April 1997 and to several telephone calls you have made to this office regarding "Dress Optional" areas in Queensland.

I apologise for the delay in responding but, as previously indicated to you, the Queensland Police Service has been asked to prepare a Cabinet Submission regarding this matter. That Cabinet Submission has been prepared by the Vagrants Act Review Committee. The Committee has provided the Government with a summary of all available options as follows:

  1. Retain the current law which effectively makes nude bathing in a public place illegal;
  2. Retain the current law which effectively makes nude bathing in a public place illegal, but provide police with administrative guidance as to when proceedings should be commenced. Police will always have a prosecutorial discretion whether to commence proceedings against an offender. A Commissioner's Instruction could provide policy guidance for operational police. This option would not require legislative amendment. However, the exercise of this discretion may lead to some confusion within the community unless a public information campaign is also adopted. This option would also make section 4(1)(viii)(c) redundant as effectively it would no longer be used;
  3. Remove section 4(1)(viii)(c) from the Vagrants Act. The adoption of this option (which was recommended by the committee) would make nude bathing in a public place prima facie legal. This would still allow police to take action if deemed appropriate under section 7 of the Vagrants Act if, having regard to the place and time of nude bathing, it constitutes "offensive behaviour". The comments made in paragraphs 3 and 4 supra must also be considered; and
  4. Remove section 4(1l)(viii)(c) from the Vagrants Act and allow local authorities to declare nude bathing sites. This would still allow police to take action if deemed appropriate under section 7 of the Vagrants Act. However, the public would be better informed as to where nude bathing may legally take place. This option effectively devolves a difficult moral decision to local authorities.

There are two main issues that need to be considered. Firstly, in the initial stages it is a decision for Cabinet to decide if there should be any changes to the current laws as they stand. Secondly, if the submission receives Cabinet approval the amendments to the Statute law is a minor amendment. For this reason a decision has been taken to group a number of issues together to allow them to proceed through Parliament at the same time and therefore reduce the number of issues being considered by Parliament.

It is for the above reasons that we are unable to provide a time frame in which these matters will be considered.

I trust this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

MARION SMITH
Senior Policy Advisor

PO Box 195 Brisbane Albert Street Q 4002, Queensland. Telephone: (07) 3239 0199 Facsimile: (07) 3236 3622

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M/s Marion Smith, Senior Ministerial Policy Advisor - 19 May 1997

Minister for Police and Minister for Racing Letterhead

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Racing


REF:MA/EW070497.MINI1721/2
19 MAY 1997

Secretary
Far North Queensland Free Beach Association
P0 Box 678
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary,

I refer to your last letter of 3 April 1997 and to several telephone calls you have made to this office regarding "Dress Optional" areas in Queensland.

As previously indicated to you the Queensland Police Service has been asked to prepare a Cabinet submission regarding this matter. There are two main issues that need to be considered. Firstly in the initial stages it is a decision for Cabinet to decide if there should be any changes to the current laws as they stand. Secondly if the submission receives Cabinet approval the amendments to the Statute law is a minor amendment. For this reason a decision has been taken to group a number of issues together to allow them to proceed through Parliament at the same time and therefore reduce the number of issues being considered by Parliament.

It is for the above reasons that we are unable to provide a time frame in which these matters will be considered.

I trust this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

MARION SMITH
Senior Policy Advisor

PO Box 195 Brisbane Albert Street Q 4002, Queensland. Telephone: (07) 3239 0199 Facsimile: (07) 3236 3622

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The Hon. Di McCauley MLA, Minister for Local Government and Planning - 20 Jan 1997

MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PLANNING, (Incorporating the Office of Rural Communities) Hen. Di McCauley, MLA

MIN/16143.96-LAA/4354

20 JAN 1997

Secretary
Far North Queensland Free Beach Association
Box 678
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary,

Thank you for your letter of 6 December 1996 concerning the capacity of local governments to designate dress optional areas.

The examination of this matter is continuing and it is anticipated that discussions will take place between my Department and the Queensland Police Service regarding dress optional areas.

In the meantime you can be assured that your submission has been noted and given due consideration.

I trust this information is helpful to you. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Yours sincerely

(Mrs) Di McCauley MLA
Minister for Local Government and Planning.
Member for Callide

POSTAL: PO Box 31, Brisbane Albert Street, 4002.
OFFICE: Level 13, 111 George Street, Brisbane, 4000.
TELEPHONE: (07) 3235 4280 FACSIMILE: (07) 3220 0747

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Mr Graham Weeks, Ministerial Policy Advisor/Chief of Staff - 4 Dec 1996


Minister for Police and Minister for Racing Letterhead

REF:GW/EW02 L296.M1N001

-4 Dec 1996

Secretary
Far North Queensland Free Beach Association
P0 Box 678
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary,

Just to keep you up to date with what is happening in regard to your submission concerning free beaches.

The Queensland Police Service has been asked to provide a Cabinet Submission on the subject which the Minister will take to Cabinet seeking members views on the subject.

There has been quite considerable support received recently on the issue from all around
Australia. If Cabinet agrees, there will need to be changes to several Acts of Parliament which would not be able to be done until next year.

Perhaps you might like to contact me early January to see what is happening.

Yours sincerely

GRAHAM WEEKS

Police and Corrective Services
Ministerial Policy Advisor/
Chief of Staff

PO Box 195 Brisbane Albert Street Q 4002, Queensland. Telephone: (07) 3239 0199 Facsimile: (07) 3236 3622

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The Hon. Russell Cooper MLA, Minister For Police and Corrective Services - 5 July 1996

Minister for Police and Minister for Racing Letterhead

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Racing

5 July, 1996

Secretary
F.N.Q.F.B.A.
P0 Box 675
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary,

Thank you for your letter of 30 June, 1996, and the attached submission regarding legal "dress optional"
recreational areas. It was a most comprehensive and impressive submission.

Subsequent to my writing to you on 5 June, 1996, I have received the views of my colleague, the Hon. Bruce Davidson MLA, Minister for Tourism, Small Business and Industry. I am yet to receive a response from my colleague, the Hon. Di McCauley
MLA, Minister for Local Government and Planning.

I have referred your submission for appropriate advice and have also taken the liberty of forwarding copies to both Mr Davidson and Mrs McCauley for their consideration.

Thank you for conveying your views and I'll keep in touch as developments occur.

Yours sincerely,

RUSSELL COOPER MLA
Minister for Police and Corrective Services
and Minister for Racing

PO Box 195 Brisbane Albert Street Q 4002, Queensland. Telephone: (07) 3239 0199 Facsimile: (07) 3236 3622

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The Hon. Russell Cooper MLA, Minister For Police and Corrective Services - 5 June 1996

Minister for Police and Minister for Racing Letterhead

5 June, 1996

Secretary
F.N.Q.F.B.A.
P0 Box 675
CAIRNS QLD 4870

Dear Secretary,

I refer to my letter of 13 May, 1996 in relation to your letter of 16
April, 1996, on the matter of legalising 'Dress Optional Areas" throughout
Queensland.

As you would no doubt be aware, nude bathing falls under the status of
Vagrants, Gaming and Other Offences Act of 1931. At present this Act
prohibits the wilful exposure of a person.

Section f (1)(iv) provides:-

"Any person who ... wilfully exposes his or her person in view of any person in any public place: ... shall be deemed to be a vagrant, and shall be liable to a penalty of $100 or to imprisonment for 6 month."

As you would appreciate, this Act has been enforced to primarily combat "Flashers" (wilful exposure) and those who urinate in public. However, the provision also attracts a penalty for those who swim or sunbathe in the
nude.

As I indicated in my previous letter to you, I am seeking the views of my
colleague, the Hon. Bruce Davidson MLA, Minister for Tourism, Small Business and Industry, and I am still awaiting his views.

Under the existing Act, Section 4 (1)(viii)(c) deals with 'wilful exposure' and one option which may be considered would be its removal to allow local Authorities to declare nude bathing sites.

In any event of this option being adopted, Police would still have the power to take action if deemed appropriate under Section 7 of the Act. This would mean Police would retain the power to determine if such bathing did constitute "offensive behaviour" after having regard to the place and time of nude bathing.

You would appreciate that consideration of this option would require appropriate consultation with Local Authorities and I have asked my
college, the Hon. Di McCauley MLA, Minister for Local Government and Planning for her views on the matter.

As soon as I have that advice I shall be back in touch.

Yours faithfully,

RUSSELL COOPER MLA
Minister for Police and Corrective Services
and Minister for Racing

PO Box 195 Brisbane Albert Street Q 4002, Queensland. Telephone: (07) 3239 0199 Facsimile: (07) 3236 3622

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Submissions

Submissions to Government

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Cairns City Council - 1 April 1995

FNQFBA Submission to


Cairns City Council



1 April 1995



City of Cairns, PO Box 359, CAIRNS QLD 4870

REGARDING LEGAL DRESS OPTIONAL RECREATION AREAS


CONTENTS





DEFINITIONS



To avoid confusion in this proposal the use of the following terms
are defined as follows:


"dress optional" means the right to choose whether to
be dressed or not.


"free" is an alternative term to dress optional.


"free beach" means any dress optional area, whether
it be on the shores of an ocean, lake, other waterway, or elsewhere.


"legal dress optional area" means any area legally designated
as a place where clothes may or may not be worn at the discretion
of the individual, without the breaching of any law.


"waters" means any sea, lake, waterhole, river, or stream.


Top of page


INTRODUCTION



During the latter half of this century many countries in the developed
world have come to recognise that the human body, of itself, is
not an obscene object, and that there is considerable support
within the community for the provision of some public areas where
nude recreational activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and
the playing of various sports may be practised legally. Indeed,
in many parts of Europe governments have been very supportive
in the provision of such facilities, which in turn has led to
the establishment of many commercial clothes optional resorts
that now make valuable contributions to their respective economies.


Probably due mainly to its isolation, and to some extent its colonial
past, Australia has been slow to recognise the full potential
of such facilities. However, the situation is changing gradually
and, in the southern states particularly, a number of nude beaches
and privately owned dress optional resorts are beginning to flourish,
attracting both interstate and overseas visitors.


Queensland is often referred to as the tourist capital, and local
authorities should hasten to realise the financial potential of
legal dress optional recreational areas, whilst at the same time
catering for a growing demand for such facilities from local residents.


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IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSAL



There are three main reasons why legal dress optional areas should
be designated.

Tourist Potential



The extent of dress optional facilities available and the large
numbers of tourists utilising them, not only in the other states
of Australia, but more especially in Europe, clearly demonstrates
that there is a significant demand for this style of holiday.
The concept is supported by most organisations set up to promote
tourism including the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation.
See Appendix 1.


If legal nude bathing was permitted in designated areas it would
create many possibilities for the tourist industry to increase
trade from both interstate and overseas. Visitors would utilise
existing nearby accommodation whilst attending dress optional
beaches, and there would be great opportunities for the development
of new special resorts adjacent to legal dress optional beaches.


Queensland has the ideal climate and extensive suitable beaches,
and should take advantage of the opportunity to tap into this
market segment. The City of Cairns is in an ideal position to
do just that. There are several beaches that are not heavily used.
It would be a simple matter to sign post a section or two as dress
optional. Such beaches would attract visitors from other parts
of Queensland as well as interstate and overseas tourists. The
accommodation industry and all the other traders in the area would
benefit greatly from the extra trade.


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The Rights of Individuals



Local residents who would use these beaches are regular tax paying
citizens, and have every right to pursue their interests just
like surf board riders, cyclists, footballers and all other minority
community groups for which governments make special provisions.
There are over 30 beaches in Queensland where nude swimming and
sunbathing is practised on a regular basis. At present all who
go to these beaches risk prosecution. The nudist community is
probably one of the most consistently discriminated against, of
all sections of our society.


This is grossly unfair. There are many minority groups in our
society who pursue a wide variety of interests and lifestyles.
As Don Dunstan, the South Australian Premier who gave Australia
its first legal nude beach, said: "Unless people are hurting
others in the community they should be able to be individuals
and do their own thing. I believe the richness of society comes
from its diversity and individuality".


Similar views are stated on page 186 of the Fitzgerald report:


"Laws which are difficult to enforce may also lead to inroads
into individual civil liberties as endeavours are made to improve
the law enforcement process."


"Laws should reflect social need, not moral repugnance. Unless
there are pressing reasons to do so, it is futile to try and stop
activities which are certain to continue and upon which the community
is divided."


Top of page



The whole topic of public nude bathing is about the choice of
a lifestyle by individuals. This freedom of choice is the cornerstone
of democracy, and people who wish to swim and sunbathe nude should
not be discriminated against purely on the basis that they have
a point of view that differs from that held by politicians.


It has already been stated in the courts that the simple act of
being nude is not obscene or offensive, so nudists should be allowed
to pursue their interests the same as any other social, religious,
or sporting group.


It should be noted here that the request is for "dress optional"
areas. There is no need or desire to exclude dressed people from
these beaches.

Nude Bathing is Here to Stay



Nude swimming and sunbathing has been condoned by the public,
local authorities and police at many locations in Queensland for
a very long time. It is in the best interests of the whole community
to regulate the situation so that those who wish to avoid the
designated areas can do so, whilst those who enjoy this pastime
are protected from being victimised by over zealous moralists,
or authorities who are personally opposed to nudity.


Various opinion polls relating to the public acceptance of nudity
have been conducted over the years. All indications are that the
majority of people support the concept of having specified areas
where nude bathing may be practised legally.


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FACTS AND FALLACIES ABOUT NUDE BATHING



Our beaches should be kept for families


Dress optional beaches are used regularly by families who have
no hang-ups about nudity, and are quite comfortable with the human
body. It is quite common to see, children, parents, and grandparents
all together in the one group. What could be more natural?


People who go nude are exhibitionists and voyeurs


This is quite false. Most people go to dress optional beaches
just to enjoy a day at the beach with their family or friends.
There is the occasional exception, but this occurs in all walks
of life. Undesirables are more likely to go to out of the way
clothed beaches where their unexpected nudity will shock and surprise
other beach users.


Top of page



The beaches are for everyone not just particular groups.


At present all Queensland beaches are set aside for people who
prefer to wear costumes. The wishes of those who prefer not to
are completely disregarded, which is most unjust. This proposal
is for some dress optional beaches, with no one precluded from
using them.


Nude bathing will increase the incidence of skin cancer


Most people today are aware of the risks of skin cancer and take
what precautions they can to prevent it - protective lotions,
hats, umbrellas, shirts, etc. Patrons at dress optional beaches
are no different, and indeed are often more careful. Considering
the brevity of today's swimwear, the amount of extra exposed skin
is minimal.


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THE BENEFITS OF DESIGNATED NUDE BATHING AREAS



Localises the incidence of nude bathing


Designated dress optional beaches would confine nude bathing to
those areas, reducing nudity in other places. People not wishing
to be confronted with nudity would know which areas to avoid,
whilst those wishing to go without costumes could do so legally.
Everyone's preferences would be catered for.


Regular users would form support groups


Often in other states where legal dress optional beaches have
been provided regular users have formed formal or informal support
groups, taking a keen interest in the cleanliness, protection,
safety, and behaviour at "their" beach. Many have provided
sports equipment, rubbish collection, first aid, rescue and communication
material etc.


Top of page



Reduces danger to people who swim and sunbathe nude


Under existing laws these people risk prosecution so they tend
to pursue their interest in remote areas, often individually,
or as couples or small groups. They are therefore exposed to a
great deal more danger from risk of attack by unsavoury characters
who may also frequent such areas. They also risk swimming in unpatrolled
waters. Legal areas would allow them to congregate in larger numbers,
thereby reducing these risks enormously.


It would end the unsatisfactory "condoned" situation


Under the present system, where action is usually only taken when
there is a complaint, it is very easy for an individual, or a
small group of people with a particular point of view to express,
to lodge complaints repeatedly, falsely creating the impression
of widespread public objection. It also allows individual police
or government personnel the opportunity to victimise others because
of their own personal opinions.


Designated legal areas would overcome most of these factors, and
also allow assignment of police to investigate real community
crime rather than following up capricious complaints from a small
number of people who pretend to be the guardians of community
morals. The Free Beach Association of Queensland has prepared
a brochure titled "The Case For Legal Dress Optional Beaches
In Queensland". This brochure gives some additional information
and a copy is attached to this submission.

- Appendix 2.


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DESIRABLE FEATURES FOR DRESS OPTIONAL BEACHES



The desirable features of dress optional beaches differ little
from those of any other recreational areas, and account should
be taken of the type of people who would use them. Experience
elsewhere shows that dress optional beach users cover the whole
age spectrum, from families with babies and young children to
retirees and the elderly, some with physical disabilities.


Factors which should be taken into consideration when selecting
sites include:

Location



Whilst areas where nude bathing is to be permitted should be a
reasonable distance from sections used by the general public it
is most undesirable for them to be located in extremely remote
places. Most people nowadays are quite tolerant of public nudity
in its rightful place, and, so long as the designated areas are
clearly marked, would not object to having them reasonably close
to heavily used sections.

Access



Areas that are too distant or can only be reached by boat or hiking
or climbing over rough, steep or difficult terrain will severely
restrict usage by families, the elderly and the disabled.


Top of page


Security



If the designated areas are too remote, there can be problems
with policing of undesirable behaviour. The availability of assistance
from emergency services is also severely limited.

Car Parking



As with all other activities sufficient car parking space is needed,
and should be monitored as the extent of usage is established.

Toilet Facilities



Toilets should be available within a reasonable distance but not
necessarily inside the designated area.

Availability of Emergency Services



This is an important safety issue. Preferably a public telephone
should be located within a reasonable distance.

Shade



It is desirable that there are some trees within the designated
area to provide relief from the sun. Our members would be willing
to plant them.

Screening



This is needed only to avoid accidental viewing by people who
may be offended, and may easily be achieved by suitable topography,
selective planting of vegetation, and on open beaches by distance.

Garbage Containers



It is desirable that garbage receptacles be provided, especially
in the car parking area. People will usually bring their garbage
back to this area if a means of disposal is provided.


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Size



The designated area should be of sufficient size to avoid overcrowding,
and to allow for the usual beach games and other activities. The
swimming area should be safe for children.

Signposting



Most dress optional areas, both in Australia and overseas, simply
mark the limits of the area with a sign similar to the following:


-----------------------------------------------------------


CITY OF CAIRNS

DRESS OPTIONAL AREA

UNCLAD RECREATION IS PERMITTED

WITHIN THE AREA MARKED BY THESE SIGNS

By Order .................... CEO

-----------------------------------------------------------


For an example of typical signage as used at Maslins Beach in
South. Australia - see Appendix 3.


If it is felt that advance warning is needed a sign similar to
the following could be erected on the approaches to the area.


-----------------------------------------------------------


CITY OF CAIRNS

DRESS OPTIONAL AREA AHEAD

IF NUDITY OFFENDS

DO NOT PASS THIS POINT

By Order .................... CEO

-----------------------------------------------------------


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SUPPORT GROUP



The Far North Queensland Free Beach Association was formed in
1988, and its membership is comprised mostly of individuals and
families residing in Cairns and surrounding area. Our group is
willing to cooperate with the Council by way of assistance in
the maintenance of facilities, and the preservation of good behaviour
and cleanliness on the beaches concerned. The Far North Queensland
Free Beach Association is affiliated with the Free Beach Association
of Queensland, a state body primarily set up to assist in the
obtaining and maintenance of dress optional beaches in Queensland.

SUGGESTED SUITABLE AREA



The City of Cairns is particularly well endowed with places suitable
for designation as dress optional. We are suggesting one location
only in this submission. However, we also feel that there are
many other locations which could be used for this purpose.


Top of page


Buchan Point Beach



This location has been a defacto nudist beach for over twenty
years. It is widely known as such both within Australia and overseas,
and has attracted many visitors over the years. Prior to the Police
raids in 1988, it was widely used by families and was probably
the cleanest beach in the Cairns area. Nudists discouraged littering
and regularly conducted clean up campaigns. When Police raids
made it impractical for families to use the beach, the deterioration
was clearly evident. This location has been continuously used
as a nudist beach, and accordingly designation would not result
in a change of usage. Designation of this beach would encourage
families to use the beach once again, in numbers.


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CHANGES TO EXISTING LEGISLATION



Major changes to the Criminal Code are being enacted. We have
sought advice from the Attorney General's Department, and the
following is an extract from that advice:


"The nude bathing debate has been hand balled between Local
and State Governments for years. The argument Local Government
used was we won't declare nude bathing areas because we won't
break State Laws..like indecent exposure or offensive behaviour.
Under these new laws if a Local Government wanted to establish
a nude bathing beach away from the general public then they could..they
would not be in breach of any obvious State Law. Attorney Generals'
have argued that this has always been the case as Local Government
rule the behaviour on their beaches, but Councils have always
dodged the issue by hiding behind these laws. Now they won't be
able to and could declare and signpost an isolated area so that
people would know what they were heading for." All that is
needed, is for Council to pass a resolution declaring the beach
at Buchan Point to be dress optional, and to erect the necessary
signs. The cost would be minimal.


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ACTION NEEDED



All that is needed, is for Council to pass a resolution declaring
the beach at Buchan Point to be dress optional, and to erect the
necessary signs. The cost would be minimal.


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CONCLUSION



The incidence of nude swimming and sunbathing is certain to increase
with the growth of population and tourism. The absence of properly
designated dress optional areas causes a great deal of confusion
and encourages the use of unsuitable areas which often leads to
problems. The rights of those people who wish to swim and sunbathe
without costumes should be recognised and catered for, and the
people who do not wish to be involved should know which areas
to avoid.


Local authorities have the power to designate certain sections
of beach as dress optional areas, and should do so in the best
interests of the community at large. The cost would be minimal
and the potential benefits from increased tourism could be quite
substantial.


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In the light of the changes to Queensland Legislation currently
being enacted, and the clearly demonstrated public demand for
such facilities, we strongly urge the City of Cairns to designate
the area suggested, and any other areas that Council may think
suitable, as legal dress optional areas.


We thank you for considering this submission.


Far North Queensland Free Beach Association

President


1 April 1995


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No votes yet

Queensland State Government - 1 July 1995


FNQFBA Submission

QUEENSLAND STATE GOVERNMENT
1 July 1996

REGARDING LEGAL DRESS OPTIONAL RECREATION AREAS


CONTENTS

Tourist Potential

The Rights of Individuals


Nude Bathing is Here to Stay

Our beaches should be kept for families


People who go nude are exhibitionists and voyeurs


The beaches are for everyone not just particular groups


Nude bathing will increase the incidence of skin cancer

Localises the incidence of nude bathing


Regular users would form support groups


Reduces danger to people who swim and sunbathe nude


It would end the unsatisfactory "condoned" situation



INTRODUCTION


Informed ordinary citizens today, clearly understand that the
nude human body is not of itself obscene. Indeed to do so, would
be a slander against nature. Nevertheless there is a proper time
and place for all activities, and public nudity is not appropriate
in most situations. But there are a number of other situations
where nudity is not only acceptable, but is indeed the preferred
option for many people. The shrinking size of bathing suits over
the second half of this century is testimony to the desire of
ordinary people to remove as much clothing as possible under suitable
conditions. The natural extension of this, is the desire of a
significant number of people to engage in nude recreational activities
such as swimming, sunbathing, and playing various sports.


Nudist clubs provide facilities for some people, but not every
nudist has access to, nor for that matter a desire, to join a
club. Tourists, in particular, must find other options. This results
in nudity on beaches and other places. As Queensland does not,
as yet, provide areas where nudity can be officially practiced,
nudity occurs at numerous unofficial locations. Most of these
are well known to the public, and are generally well suited to
the purpose due to natural screening, isolation or in some instances
both. Random nudity also occurs at other, less suitable, locations
and this leads to objections from a small minority of the public.
There is, however, considerable support within the community for
the provision of some public areas where nude recreational activities
such as swimming, sunbathing, and the playing of various sports
may be practiced legally. Indeed, in many parts of Europe governments
have been very supportive in the provision of such facilities,
which in turn has led to the establishment of many commercial
clothes optional resorts that now make valuable contributions
to their respective economies.


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Probably due mainly to its isolation, and to some extent its colonial
past, Australia has been slow to recognise the full potential
of such facilities. However, the situation is changing gradually
and, in the southern states particularly, a number of nude beaches
and privately owned dress optional resorts are beginning to flourish,
attracting both interstate and overseas visitors.


Queensland is often referred to as the tourist capital, and local
authorities should hasten to realise the financial potential of
legal dress optional recreational areas, whilst at the same time
catering for a growing demand for such facilities from local residents.


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THE FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND FREE BEACH ASSOCIATION


The Far North Queensland Free Beach Association was formed in
1988 following police harassment of nudists at Buchan Point. The
association seeks changes to the law of Queensland, which would
enable local authorities to designate legal dress optional areas.


Our association is affiliated with the Free Beach Association
of Queensland, a similar organisation centered in South Queensland.
Submissions have been made to successive governments, but in spite
of assurances that the matter would be corrected in the rewrite
of the Criminal Code, no positive action has yet occurred.


Far North Queensland Free Beach Association is also committed
to maintaining a high standard of behaviour, cleanliness, and
ecological awareness, in areas frequented by its members.


IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSAL


There are three main reasons why legal dress optional areas should
be designated.


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Tourist Potential

The extent of dress optional facilities available and the large
numbers of tourists utilising them, not only in the other states
of Australia, but more especially in Europe, clearly demonstrates
that there is a significant demand for this style of holiday.
The concept is supported by most organisations set up to promote
tourism. See Appendix 1.


If legal nude bathing was permitted in designated areas it would
create many possibilities for the tourist industry to increase
trade from both interstate and overseas. Visitors would utilise
existing nearby accommodation whilst attending dress optional
beaches, and there would be great opportunities for the development
of new special resorts adjacent to legal dress optional beaches.


Queensland has the ideal climate and many suitable beaches, and
should take advantage of the opportunity to tap into this market
segment. Such beaches would attract visitors from other parts
of Queensland as well as interstate and overseas tourists. The
accommodation industry and all the other traders in the area would
benefit greatly from the extra trade.


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The Rights of Individuals

Local residents who would use these beaches are regular tax paying
citizens, and have every right to pursue their interests just
like surf board riders, cyclists, footballers and all other minority
community groups for which governments make special provisions.
There are over 30 beaches in Queensland where nude swimming and
sunbathing is practiced on a regular basis. At present all who
go to these beaches risk prosecution. The nudist community is
probably one of the most consistently persecuted sections of our
society.


This discrimination is grossly unfair. There are many minority
groups in our society who pursue a wide variety of interests and
lifestyles. As Don Dunstan, the South Australian Premier who gave
Australia its first legal nude beach, said:


"Unless people are hurting others in the community they should
be able to be individuals and do their own thing. I believe the
richness of society comes from its diversity and individuality".


Similar views are stated on page 186 of the Fitzgerald report:


"Laws which are difficult to enforce may also lead to inroads
into individual civil liberties as endeavours are made to improve
the law enforcement process."


"Laws should reflect social need, not moral repugnance. Unless
there are pressing reasons to do so, it is futile to try and stop
activities which are certain to continue and upon which the community
is divided."


The whole topic of public nude bathing is about the choice of
a lifestyle by individuals. This freedom of choice is the cornerstone
of democracy, and people who wish to swim and sunbathe nude should
not be discriminated against purely on the basis that they have
a point of view that differs from that held by some politicians.


It has already been stated in the courts that the simple act of
being nude is not obscene or offensive, so nudists should be allowed
to pursue their interests the same as any other social, religious,
or sporting group.


It should be noted here that the request is for "dress optional"
areas. There is no need or desire to exclude dressed people from
these beaches.


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Nude Bathing is Here to Stay

Nude swimming and sunbathing has been condoned by the public,
local authorities and police at many locations in Queensland for
a very long time. It is in the best interests of the whole community
to regulate the situation so that those who wish to avoid the
designated areas can do so, whilst those who enjoy this pastime
are protected from victimisation by over zealous moralists, or
authorities who are personally opposed to nudity.


Various opinion polls relating to the public acceptance of nudity
have been conducted over the years. All indications are that the
majority of people support the concept of having specified areas
where nude bathing may be practiced legally.


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FACTS AND FALLACIES ABOUT NUDE BATHING


Our beaches should be kept for families


Dress optional beaches are used regularly by families who have
no hang-ups about nudity, and are quite comfortable with the human
body. It is quite common to see, children, parents, and grandparents
all together in the one group. What could be more natural?


People who go nude are exhibitionists and voyeurs


This is quite false. Most people go to dress optional beaches
just to enjoy a day at the beach with their family or friends.
There is the occasional exception, but this occurs in all walks
of life. Undesirables are more likely to go to out of the way
clothed beaches where their unexpected nudity will shock and surprise
other beach users.


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The beaches are for everyone not just particular groups

At present all Queensland beaches are set aside for people who
prefer to wear costumes. The wishes of those who prefer not to
are completely disregarded, which is most unjust. This proposal
is for some dress optional beaches, with no one precluded from
using them.


Nude bathing will increase the incidence of skin cancer


Most people today are aware of the risks of skin cancer and take
what precautions they can to prevent it - protective lotions,
hats, umbrellas, avoidance of sun exposure when UV radiation is
at high levels, etc. Patrons at dress optional beaches are no
different, and indeed are often more careful. Considering the
brevity of today's swimwear, the amount of extra exposed skin
is minimal.


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THE BENEFITS OF DESIGNATED NUDE BATHING
AREAS


Localises the incidence of nude bathing


Designated dress optional areas would substantially confine nude
bathing to those areas.


People not wishing to be confronted with nudity would know which
places to avoid, whilst those wishing to go without costumes could
do so legally. Everyone's preferences would be catered for.


Regular users would form support groups


Often in other states where legal dress optional beaches have
been provided, regular users have formed formal or informal support
groups, taking a keen interest in the cleanliness, protection,
safety, and behaviour at "their" beach. Many have provided
sports equipment, rubbish collection, first aid, rescue and communication
material etc.


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Reduces danger to people who swim and sunbathe nude

Under existing laws these people risk prosecution so they tend
to pursue their interest in remote areas, often individually,
or as couples or small groups. They are therefore exposed to a
great deal more danger from risk of attack by unsavoury characters
who may also frequent such areas. They also risk swimming in unpatrolled
waters. Legal areas would allow them to congregate in larger numbers,
thereby reducing these risks enormously.


It would end the unsatisfactory "condoned" situation


Under the present system, where action is usually only taken when
there is a complaint, it is very easy for an individual, or a
small group of people with a particular point of view to express,
to lodge complaints repeatedly, falsely creating the impression
of widespread public objection. It also allows individual police
or government personnel the opportunity to victimise others because
of their own personal opinions.


Designated legal areas would overcome most of these factors, and
also allow assignment of police to investigate real community
crime rather than following up capricious complaints from a small
number of people who pretend to be the guardians of community
morals. The Free Beach Association of Queensland has prepared
a brochure titled "The Case For Legal Dress Optional Beaches
In Queensland". This brochure gives some additional information
and a copy is attached to this submission - Appendix 2.


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PRESENT LEGISLATION AND POLICING


Public nudity is currently covered by the Vagrants Gaming and
Other Offenses Act, and by the Criminal Code. This legislation
was conceived and enacted in a bygone era and was originally intended
to cover situations where there was an intention to shock or offend.
The situation of acceptable public nudity was not envisaged. The
laws are outmoded and in urgent need of replacement. Policing
of these laws has been inconsistent and capricious. After substantial
periods of condoning nudity at particular places, sudden changes
of Police policy have resulted in arrests, convictions and fining.
The arrests have always been carried out so as to cause maximum
humiliation, inconvenience, and distress, and so as to ensure
that the persons arrested are deprived of the capacity to mount
a reasonable defense. Essentially, those arrested have been treated
like sex criminals. Major arrests were followed by the Police
being publicly ridiculed. This form of policing has resulted in
bitterness and a deep distrust of the Police. Clearly decent citizens
should feel able to trust, respect, and support Police. Sadly,
for those who have been on the receiving end, and believe that
they have been treated unjustly , this is most unlikely to be
the case. Policing laws which are outmoded and are widely regarded
as such by the ordinary citizen, can only worsen public regard
for the Police Service.


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DESIRABLE LEGISLATION


All other mainland States and Territories have been able to legislate
successfully, in one way or another, to provide for legal dress
optional areas. None of these States or Territories have found
it necessary to enact complex legislation to cover the situation.
An example of simple and effective legislation is that enacted
by South Australia in 1975. Section 23a inserted into the Police
Offenses Act 1953 provides: "An act of being in an unclad
state in an area dedicated or reserved under any Act for unclad
bathing (whether or not that area is so dedicated or reserved
for any other purpose) or an act of being in an unclad state in
any waters adjacent to such an area shall not of itself, be an
offense against any Act or Law in force in this State". The
section merely declares that nudity alone is not an offense when
it takes place inside a designated area. It leaves intact State
laws relating to other areas, and it offers no protection against
prosecution to any person who may behave in an improper manner
in a designated area. This type of legislation would enable Local
Authorities to designate areas and to control activities which
take place there.


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CONCLUSION


The incidence of nude swimming and sunbathing is certain to increase
with the growth of population and tourism. The absence of properly
designated dress optional areas causes a great deal of confusion
and encourages the use of unsuitable areas which often leads to
problems. The rights of those people who wish to swim and sunbathe
without costumes should be recognised and catered for, and the
people who do not wish to be involved should know which areas
to avoid. Local authorities should have the power to designate
certain sections of beach, or other public land, as dress optional
areas. Their legal advice is that they are not permitted to do
so until the law, as it stands now, has been amended. We request
the Queensland State Government to amend the law as suggested.


We thank you for considering this submission.



Far North Queensland Free Beach Association

Secretary

1 July 1996.


Far North Queensland Free Beach Association

PO Box 678 CAIRNS QLD 4870


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