Australian Town Strips to Stop Development

The words "coastal strip" have taken on a whole new meaning for a group of angry seaside residents from northern New South Wales.

Concerned at over-development of their Tweed Coast village, they've given their local council a dressing down in a nude protest on video sharing Web site You Tube.

Hastings Point residents ranging from toddlers to retirees stripped off for the protest, sparked by Tweed Shire Council's approval of seven new projects, including three-storey unit blocks.

Links:Click here to watch the video on You Tube.

Keen to preserve their dignity as well as their environment, locals starring in the video strategically placed placards in front of their private parts.

The musical backdrop is Joni Mitchell's anti-development protest song, Big Yellow Taxi, which has the classic line: 'Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone/they paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot'.

Save Hastings Point campaign spokesman John O'Reilly said the naked stunt was done out of desperation after the council refused to listen to residents' concerns.

"They're approving developments that don't comply with the law," said O'Reilly, a local solicitor. "We've been totally ignored by the council and we thought if they won't listen, maybe the world will. So we decided to get our gear off. We're pretty passionate about saving our community. The people who want to develop it don't live here and they don't care."

Even local real estate agent Melissa Young and her toddler daughter, Madison, joined in the nude protest.

"I love my job but Hastings Point is special and we don't want to see it turned into another Salt (Kingscliff), Noosa or, heaven forbid, Gold Coast," she said. "We're not anti-development, just anti inappropriate developmment."

O'Reilly said while the You Tube video was light-hearted, residents were deadly serious about saving Hastings Point from over-development.

They have launched action against the council in the Land and Environment Court and questions have been asked in the NSW Parliament.