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Backpacker boobs cause stir

May 23 2003

Semi-naked backpacker beauties are causing a stir in downtown Cairns.

Since the swimming lagoon opened in late March on the city's esplanade, topless sunbakers - many of them overseas tourists - have become a fixture.

The new phenomenon has set tongues wagging, but Cairns Mayor Kevin Byrne today said few of the comments had been negative.

The council will not allow nudity or topless volleyball, but topless sunbaking is okay if the sunbakers stay in a certain area.

"It's the year 2003, there's a clientele that uses the pool, a lot of them that use that area, where topless sunbathing is normal to them," Mr Byrne said.

"Many of them have travelled from distant parts of the world, they enjoy the sunshine, and they choose to sunbake with tops off."

Families were usually attracted to a different section of the esplanade, with barbecues, trees and a kiosk, Mr Byrne said.

"We haven't had any conflict there," he said.

"Where people go and attempt to sunbathe topless in the area where families are we politely ask them to leave and they respond appropriately.

"The only conflict that there is, or appears to be, is (between) those who either approve or disapprove of topless sunbathing."



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