Fears for A-Bay freedom after six nudists charged on beach
NUDISTS fear their long held piece of paradise at Noosa's Alexandria Bay is being taken away with about six people slapped with a wilful exposure charge.
But they're not the only ones frustrated by the existing law, which makes it an offence for men to take their clothes off on the secluded stretch.
Officer-in-Charge of Public Prosecutions Sunshine Coast David Bradley said police didn't enjoy charging people who take their gear off either.
"We don't enjoy fining people for this, but at the end of the day, we have to uphold the law," he said.
"We are doing our job and we are made to look like the oppressive police, but we don't have a choice.
"We have a duty to investigate it and bring it before the courts.
"It costs a small fortune to take it to the court, but we are caught in a dreadful position."
Only last month, David Charles Winston was found guilty in Noosa Magistrates Court of a charge of wilful exposure.
Magistrate Annette Hennessy found him guilty, with no further action taken.
Sen Sgt Bradley said Mr Winston was appealing the decision.
Mark Hayter, from Free Beach Australia, said a police officer "has been booking people willy-nilly".
"I know of about six people, some of them have come from interstate and have had this happen to them.
"It's not good for tourists or anything like that. I don't mind him getting rid of the clowns, but why must he book people who are enjoying themselves.
"A fellow was booked for simply coming out the water."
Should A-Bay become an official nude beach?
This poll ended on 26 September 2015.
Yes, it's secluded enough and nudists are there already.
No, It gives Noosa a bad reputation and kids go there.
We should have a nudist beach but it shouldn't be A-Bay.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr Hayter admitted the police officer was "doing the right thing, really".
"It is against the law to be naked down there," he said.
"But it's been go on for so long now, we've asked Peter Beattie (former Premier) and Bob Abbot (former Noosa Mayor) and no one has had the guts to legalise it.
"They pass it around like a football."
The passing around continued yesterday, with Noosa Council saying it was not in the council's jurisdiction and declining to comment
Sen Sgt Bradley said Noosa had the authority to raise it as an issue with the State Government.
"It is a matter for Noosa Council. They can sit on their hands or they can decide they want to drive something, they know what do.
"It is not a police matter, until the law is changed we have to enforce it."
He was also frustrated Noosa's tourism website, Visit Noosa had A-Bay listed as the "unofficial nude beach".
"This is tacitly encouraging people to do it," he said.
He said the claim police hadn't previously enforced the law at A-Bay previously wasn't a defence.
"Prior to 1998, people used to drink and drive. Relying on historical circumstance to get away with something isn't a defence.
"The law is clear and we are duty bound to enforce it."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was contacted for comment, but did not respond by deadline.
Did you know?
Women can never fall foul of wilful exposure laws and can't be charged because their private bits aren't "hanging out" so to speak.