Tweed's reputation at risk

THE reputation of the Tweed Coast as a family area has been tarnished by publicity for the proposed three-day nudist festival near Cabarita Beach, says one shire councillor.

Cr John Murray said yesterday he had received two reports of nudist and indecent behaviour on Tweed beaches in recent days which led him to fear for the area's image.

In one case, he said a Fingal mother had been alarmed when she came across two men having sex on her local beach and in another incident a naked man was asked to leave Cabarita Beach.

Cr Murray said years of work to overcome a perception of Fingal as a nudist hotspot and "pervert hangout" appeared to be coming undone.

"I'm now gravely concerned at the damage to the reputation of the area that may already have been done," he said.

"This is going to be a problem that could be around for years and years."

Cr Murray said he had spoken to about 25 people from the Cabarita Beach area who were concerned about the plans for the music festival.

Despite initially having "an open mind" he was now opposed to the Council giving its approval for the event.

An internet-search yesterday revealed news about the planned event has been run by news organisations as far afield as Chicago, South Africa and Albury-Wodonga on the NSW/Victorian border.

Tweed Coast-based councillor Steve Dale however has questioned the level of local opposition.

"I've had two phone calls against it," he said. "Out of three dozen people who have made a comment about it to me, two dozen were ambivalent and another dozen were in favour of it due to the economic boost it would give to the businesses of Cabarita.".

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