Unofficial “nudist beaches” could soon become a thing of the past within Australia, thanks to a bizarre new legal ruling from the Sunshine Coast.
The Maroochydore District Court upheld a “wilful exposure” conviction for local man David Charles Winston, who was caught swimming naked at an unofficial nude beach called Alexandria Bay.
When presiding over the appeal, Judge DCJ Jones said that Mr Winston was guilty of exposing his genitals in a public manner, without any valid excuse.
However, Mr Winston argued he’d been told the beach was an unofficial nudist spot, and had been for some 30 years.
Allegedly, Alexandria Bay was even identified as a nudist beach by the local tourist information centre. Mr Winston claimed at least 15 other nudists were present at that beach, on the day of his arrest.
This unexpected legal ruling is a disappointment for skinny-dipping enthusiasts, who have been planning a “nude carnival” at Alexandria Bay next month.
The precedent set down by Judge Jones has also been described by police as a “clear line” when it comes to regulating unofficial nude beaches.
Noosa police Senior Sergeant Steve McReight said, “someone can be caught wilfully exposing themselves regardless of the date, time and place”, he said.
“If we get complaint, we will investigate and a judgment will be made on the evidence”, Sergeant McReight added.
“My job is to look after the law as it is. Now the court has given us a practical interpretation we can work with”.