Michael has been going to this nudist beach for 26 years. Now he’s leading the charge to save it

For 36 decades, Sunnyside North Beach front about an hour’s drive south of Melbourne has drawn those on the lookout to strip down to their birthday suit and delight in the sunlight, sand and h2o.
Neighbouring Sunnyside Seaside, the smaller stretch of sand is arrived at about rocks and is one particular of just a few clothing-optional shorelines in Victoria, and the only one particular alongside Port Phillip Bay.
It was declared a clothes-optional seashore in 1986. But now, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is contemplating producing to the Victorian authorities to revoke its status.
Sixty-yr-old Michael, who does not want his final identify made use of for privateness explanations, life in Frankston, about a 15-minute generate from Sunnyside North Beach front in Mount Eliza. He uncovered it about 26 years back when he became a naturist and has visited it commonly ever considering that.
Now, Michael is battling for the seashore – which he suggests suggests “various matters to distinct people” – to retain its exclusive designation.
“To me, it truly is a put exactly where I can pick out to bathe with out apparel, and it can be great for my actual physical and mental wellbeing,” he reported.

It’s a place the place everybody is welcome, no matter their “dimensions, age, sexual desire – a complete selection of matters,” he explained.

People at a beach.

Sunnyside Seaside North was granted its “clothing optional” status in 1986. Supply: Supplied

Michael runs a Facebook group identified as “Continue to keep Sunnyside Beach front Clothing Optional” which has a lot more than 870 followers. He has also released a Change.org petition – “Help you save Sunnyside North Apparel Optional Beach” – that has garnered practically 800 signatures.

He has also been out in Mount Eliza Village and neighbouring Mornington in new times talking to locals about the situation and raising consciousness of the petition.
It is really difficult to monitor how lots of people today pay a visit to a seaside, but Michael believes 1000’s of folks pay a visit to Sunnyside North each and every year.
Michael, himself a gay male, explained it is significantly preferred amid the LGBTIQ+ community.
He claimed it is a put the place customers of that neighborhood can specific who they are.

“The queer local community has been utilizing the beach front as a safe and sound area of accumulating for a lot of many years … and we would argue that [the clothing-optional status] demands to be retained on that basis for that neighborhood.”

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Anthony Marsh poses for a photo.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Anthony Marsh claims complaints about the nudist beach front at Sunnyside North have elevated in the earlier few of several years. Resource: Supplied

The Mornington Peninsula Shire concluded neighborhood session on whether or not Sunnyside North Beach front should keep its apparel-optional standing on 21 April.

Mayor Anthony Marsh claimed the council acquired just about 4,000 submissions from people today throughout the country.
“I probably wouldn’t be incorrect if I explained it was the most we have at any time experienced [for a community consultation], at the very least in current historical past,” Mr Marsh said.
Even though the council does not get a “enormous volume” of grievances every single calendar year relating to Sunnyside and Sunnyside North shorelines, Mr Marsh believes the difficulty has come to a head additional just lately thanks to more locals visiting in the course of COVID-19 lockdowns when travel boundaries used, and finding that the spot was not “loved ones-welcoming”.
He explained one issue was that there is minor distinction amongst the two apart from a indication that states outfits-optional over and above this level.
“So if you go to the vehicle park (at the clothed finish of the seashore) you will generally see people today showering in the nude or going for walks close to the nude,” Mr Marsh explained.

“We typically get pictures … and stories of people exactly where they’re showering or going for walks all over in the nude. So I think from a family-helpful point of see that normally will come up as a complaint.”

An aerial view of Sunnyside North Beach in Victoria.

Sunnyside North Beach is located at Mount Eliza, about an hour south of Melbourne. Resource: Provided

He mentioned that the council had also received issues about men and women sitting down in their autos “looking a little bit suspicious”, and persons “going off into the bushes”.

“Just mainly because persons have a lifestyle [where they enjoy] employing a clothing-optional beach, won’t essentially indicate that they take part in this conduct,” Mr Marsh reported.
“But I guess the narrative that is coming out of [local] communities is that it attracts a sure style of conduct, no matter of regardless of whether or not they belong to that [naturist] neighborhood.”
Michael thinks there is a very clear demarcation amongst the two shorelines.
“In order to get to the beach, you have to stroll all-around a tough rocky place. It truly is not as if you just unintentionally wander all over you enter the nude beach, it truly is very a deliberate action to get there,” he stated.
He thinks the council should really take into account putting in greater signage, including kinds that notice behaviours that would not be tolerated, and CCTV cameras.
Council officers will search at submissions ahead of producing a recommendation to councillors on no matter whether or not they must produce to the point out governing administration to revoke Sunnyside North Beach’s clothes-optional position.
If they recommend the council should drive to get rid of it, councillors will then have to agree on that recommendation prior to it is escalated.
“So even after that level, practically nothing improvements. It is merely that we are now going to advocate to the state,” Mr Marsh stated.

He did not know how extended the state federal government would choose to attain a selection if this occurred but predicted there would be no modify this yr.

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