A community of Aussies have been left in uproar after vandals allegedly destroyed signs near a popular “clothing optional” beach — with the local council "strongly condemning" the act.
Armands Beach, near Bermagui on the New South Wales south coast, is a popular spot for those who wish to forgo a swimming costume while taking a dip in the pristine waters. But not everyone agrees – and vandals have reportedly taken to removing the signs that promote the ‘optional’ aspect of covering up to swim.
“Philistines walk among us even today,” fumed one local, explaining that he discovered council signage was destroyed at the beach this week. “Apparently in protest against this beautiful venue being a legal clothes-optional venue.”
He warned, however, that “such vandalism won't deter people from using this beach”.
Clothing optional for 30 years
The beach was declared a legal clothes optional by Bega Valley Shire Council in November 1993 and has been enjoyed by locals and tourists alike ever since.
The unpatrolled beach was even named after a French farmer, Armand Lemmeric, who regularly swam nude at the beach.
Locals express outrage
Many locals shared their outrage at the destroyed signs, urging vandals to leave the beachgoers alone.
“There are enough beautiful beaches around here for everyone to enjoy,” said one impassioned Aussie. “Leave Armands alone and let it be what it's been for years ... a clothing optional place where those that want to be free of clothes can enjoy their time.”
“It's a shame a small few have to try and spoil it for others,” they added.
“How sad that some people prefer to be vandals than letting people choose to be naked,” added another.
Bega Valley Shire Council condemn vandalism
Council told Yahoo that they "strongly condemn" the vandalism of their ‘beach information’ sign at Armands Beach.
"It's unfortunate that some members of the community don't respect the important assets that are meant to serve everyone," a spokesperson said.
"We strongly condemn this senseless act and we are committed to replacing the sign as soon as possible.
"Beach information signs are used across the shire and include a range of information about local beaches and conditions."
Anyone with information is encouraged to report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and to use the Snap Send Solve app to report damage to Council facilities.
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