Nudist beach would be an asset to Noosa's economy

THE creation of a legal nudist beach would be worth $50 million a year to the Noosa economy, the Australian Sex Party claims.

The prediction is contained in the political party's submission to make clothing-optional beaches legal in Queensland, with Noosa's Alexandria Bay first in line.

Acting president of the Australian Sex Party's Queensland branch, Dr Mark McGovern, said Queensland was the only mainland state without legal nudist beaches, although "A-Bay" had been an unofficial clothing-optional beach for 70 years.

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The beach has been in the headlines in recent weeks, with naturists complaining about a police crackdown that saw six people prosecuted for "wilful exposure".

The Australian Sex Party's submission, unveiled yesterday, claims more than 80% of the Noosa community supports the creation of a legal clothing-optional beach.

The party is pushing for a change to the section of the Summary Offences Act which outlaws "wilful exposure", giving local councils the power to make certain areas exempt.

Its submission, which will be sent to the Qld Attorney-General, does not advocate any changes to laws relating to indecent exposure, stalking, sexual harassment or any "offences against morality".

The party claims making Alexandria Bay a legal nude beach would have both economic and social benefits for the Noosa area.

"Naturism not only has profound socio-cultural and psychological benefit; it would also appear to be a substantial and lucrative niche market in tourism, which might boost Noosa's tourism revenue by $50 million or more," the submission says.

"Tourism Noosa is committed to being part of Queensland's re-branding as Australia's Nature Coast, in a concerted push to attract more overseas and particularly European tourists.

"Naturism is perfectly suited to Noosa and given European culture regarding nude beaches, these tourists will be particularly attracted to the existence of a nude beach at Alexandria Bay."

It cites a report in The Economist magazine which says about 18% of tourists would "highly value" access to a nude beach.

Anecdotal evidence suggested those tourists currently travelled to nude beaches in northern NSW.

Demographic analysis of nudists showed they were "significantly older and more affluent than most tourists, with significantly more leisure time".

Based on Noosa's existing tourism figures and international experiences, if the Alexandria Bay was south-east Queensland's first and only legal nude beach it could be expected to a initially attract 200 naturists per day on weekdays.

That could rise to 500 per day on Saturdays and Sunday - a total of 2000 a week or 100,000 a year.

Tourism Noosa was contacted for comment on legalising nude beaches and the sex party's economic predictions, but no one was available to respond.

Topics:  australian sex party nudist sunshine coast

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