THE days of nude bathing at Sunnyside Beach, Mount Eliza could be numbered, with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council this week discussing the pros and cons of allowing the controversial practice to continue.
The council is proposing to survey Mount Eliza residents in March to gain feedback regarding Sunnyside Beach and their experiences (“Call for fresh look at nude beach” The News 22/11/21).
Results from the survey will inform a decision regarding future use of the foreshore, and whether the council supports a request to the state government to remove the clothing optional status of Sunnyside.
The move comes under the council and wellbeing banner of “A healthy natural environment and well-planned townships” and follows years of claims about lewd behaviour at and near the nude beach.
A report on the agenda by coastal planner Gerard Cook noted that the 2004 Mount Eliza Foreshore Reserve Coastal Management Plan included the statement that Sunnyside Beach and car park “have become an area attracting people engaging in illegal, inappropriate activities”.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests drug use and sexual activities take place regularly at the car park and beach during all times of the day and night resulting in hazardous rubbish such as syringes being left on the beach and within the carpark, and surrounding bluffs,” the report stated.
“These activities impact on the enjoyment of the beach for local users, such as Camp Manyung visitors who utilise Sunnyside Beach for recreational activities.
“The local community has an interest in seeing this area managed to promote a clean and safe environment for the local and wider community in the future.”
The issue will be discussed at Tuesday 8 February public council meeting.