Last time we had beach controversy in Victoria, it was our beach fight back in late 2006. In that particular case, Surf Coast Shire Council was being watched carefully by the other councils as one particular Councillor decided Pt Impossible should have it’s clothing optional status revoked. It took a smallish battle, and the community and common sense prevailed in the end – we worked hard to protect our beaches and keep them available for ALL beach users, and we’ve enjoyed a few quiet years since then without much controversy!
This time around, Sunnyside beach at Mt Eliza has popped up on the radar, but it doesn’t look like nudists are involved (or even being accused!!). After a little research, we think this is the summary story (and correct us if you know more than we do!): Charles Jacobsen (Char) is a retirement home operator who owns the beach front property previously owned by the late Sir Reginald Ansett and Myer family. It’s hard to tell from the boundaries, but it looks like the property in question is not bordering the CO beach at all, it seems to be the next beach further along to the north.
Anyway, it would appear Char has had battles concerning development of his property in the past, and prevailed. Char raised the hackles of equal opportunity groups and divided the Mornington Peninsula community by proposing a “gay proof fence” along the foreshore of his property! Wow!!
It does appear Char isn’t short of a quid, based on his donation of the foreshore land to council back in 2007 along with 10 years of maintenance, when the subdivision was first approved. If you are interested in the original submissions, Mornington Peninsula Shire has comprehensive meeting minutes available online, along with a map of the area in question and the proposed location of the fence.
You can check out the article in The Age and read all about it yourself – the request for the 400m fence is going to be heard by VCAT in the next couple of months.
As always people, do the right thing on our beaches and make sure nudists can never be accused of behaving inappropriately!!