Nudists told to butt out
By Peter Caton
No nudes equals good news.
That's the plain, naked truth according to Tweed Coast residents rocked by news of a three-day nudist music festival which would be held in their midst.
A backlash, though slow in coming, yesterday gathered pace against the supposedly "nude but not rude" rage.
A petition was being organised, phone calls made and emails sent in a bid to ensure hundreds of out-of-towners who would descend on the district to bare their private parts keep them private ... and at home.
"I'm outraged," said Joanne Bowden who lives a short distance from the Round Mountain Pony Club grounds in Bogangar where the 'Raw at Cabarita' partygoers would frolic under the sun and moon for 72 hours prior to Anzac Day next month.
"We have become known as a family area," she added. "They are saying this would put us on the map - but for all the wrong reasons."
Mrs Bowden said that as news sunk in that the area could become home to something akin to a nude Woodstock, the ramifications were being considered.
"They took away our pub and now they are giving us a nude festival," she lamented.
Baptist pastor Graham Eggins has begun drawing up petitions urging Tweed Shire councillors to draw the curtain on the show before it opens by refusing to give develop-ment approval.
"Cabarita has really got a good name at the moment," he said. "If it becomes associated with a nudist festival that goes out the window."
Not only that, but such goings-on he warned would endanger our children and youths, challenge marriage and family life, attract sexual perverts from afar and spin off other sleazy enterprises which "could easily destroy the spirit and soul of all those involved".
One of the Gold Coast-based organisers, Raice Nicholls, said many nudists were Christians and more than 50 local businesses supported the festival.
It would, he said, be held in a private and screened environment where people felt secure about getting their gear off, although they would be allowed the option of wearing a sarong.
"It's not a beauty contest," he added. "People will think: I can't look as bad as he or she does. I'll get my sarong off too."