This weekend’s Castrol Gold Coast 600 is yet another reminder that some people just seem to be a whole lot happier when someone gets their gear off.

Ever since the days of its earliest incarnation, the Gold Coast Indy 300, with its raunchy Indy Undy Ball and bare breasts on the balconies, Queensland’s biggest car racing carnival has always had a reputation for flashing too much flesh. A virtual Schoolies for adults, there’s a chance you may see a lot more than fast cars and chequered flags in Surfers Paradise this weekend.

In 2004, a bunch of red-blooded Australian Army helicopter crewmen were suspended after they flew over Surfers Paradise flashing a banner reading “Show us your t*ts”. A couple of years later in 2006, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson revealed police were prepared to turn a blind eye to the racy race track revellers. “We’re not the moral judges of society…” the Commissioner noted, suggesting the boys in blue would use a “healthy dose of common sense” when faced with naughty nudity.

However, just a few years later, in 2008, the long arm of the law launched a crackdown on all extroverted exhibitionists. “Some of the things we saw on balconies last year crossed the boundary of decency,” the Premier announced, and from then on the Indy became an officially Tops-On affair.

We’ll see. There’s something about a touch of the hot sun, the sea air, and way too much high octane rocket fuel that just seems to make some people want to flash their naughty bits around.  Just earlier this week a driver involved in a nose-to-tail crash at Southport reportedly stripped off his clothes and ran semi-naked through the traffic before police and paramedics reined him in. But with Victoria announcing last month new laws that could see first-time offenders face up to 2 months in jail for mischievously baring their bottoms, it may be fair to say that when it comes to public nudity Australian authorities’ “blind eye” days are drawing to a close.

Last year I acted for a well-known professional comedian who was charged with dropping his daks in public after he was confronted by three angry young men on a Surfers Paradise street in the early hours of the morning. He later told the court he thought his best defence against the trio’s aggression was the one powerful weapon in his armoury – comedy. So rather than putting up his dukes, he simply unfastened his belt and dropped his pants. The young men were so tickled by the sight of his stupidity, the potentially violent situation was instantly diffused.

I guess it’s true. Some people are a whole lot happier when someone, anyone,  gets their gear off.

Jonathan Nyst, Gold Coast Lawyer

Website JKN