DISGUSTED: Tweed Aboriginal co-op secretary Desrae Rotumah is upset a website is claiming the Tweed Heads Historical Site is an ideal place to meet gay men.
DISGUSTED: Tweed Aboriginal co-op secretary Desrae Rotumah is upset a website is claiming the Tweed Heads Historical Site is an ideal place to meet gay men. Crystal Spencer

Sacred reserve 'sex hot spot'

ABORIGINAL leaders are disgusted the sacred Minjungbal Reserve in Tweed Heads South has been named on a website as a hot spot for public sex.

The international site, called Cruising Gays, directs men to locations, giving advice on police patrols, vantage points and ideal “times to have fun”.

It also ranks half-a-dozen other locations in Murwillumbah, Kingscliff and Fingal Head as public meeting places for men “cruising”, a term for searching around for casual sex.

Tweed Aboriginal co-op secretary Desrae Rotumah said the website was degrading to the land.

“It’s disgraceful. This is our scrub, the last of it,” Ms Rotumah said.

“This is Aboriginal land. This has been our land for a long, long time, it is just not on.

“We respect the land and we expect everyone else to respect it as well.”

The free website gives the address and map for Minjungbal, and suggests men “wait, someone should come along” and to “follow the track until you reach the river” after 5pm on weekends.

It also displayed a warning on mosquitos and to be wary of the general public.

“That means that someone has been here and done their research. It’s very cunning,” Ms Rotumah said.

Ms Rotumah said she was not homophobic.

“Each to their own, but just not here,” she said.

Ms Rotumah said she wanted the listing removed from the website immediately.

The Tweed Daily News brought the website to the attention of the Minjungbal Trading Company, which operates the Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, yesterday.

Tweed Aboriginal community members were shocked and angry when they discovered the site.

A former member of a now-disbanded Tweed Heads gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender group, who did not want to be named, yesterday slammed the website for portraying homosexual people in a negative manner.

“The website is disgusting, it’s terrible,” the member said.

“Not only is it illegal, it’s promoting unsafe sex and portrays the gay lifestyle in a negative way.”

Tweed Byron Police gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex liaison officer Senior Constable Gabby Ash said the Tweed Heads Historic Site had not been reported to Tweed Heads Police.

“We are aware of this website and several like it, but I have not been made aware of this particular location,” Snr Cnst Ash said.

She said the website was not illegal and out of Tweed Byron Police jurisdiction.

“What we’re saying is that it’s ok for people to meet in these places, but anything beyond that and they will be brought before the local court,” she said.

The maximum penalty for offensive conduct is a maximum of three months in prison or a $660 fine.

A spokesman for Cruising Gays defended the purpose of the site as a place for sharing listing information and travel for the gay community.

He said the group was planning to remove the listing. The Minjungbal listing has attracted more than 1215 page views.

Meeting places

• Tweed Heads Historic Site, Tweed Heads South

• Kingscliff estuary, Kingscliff

• Dreamtime Beach, Fingal Heads

• Bathrooms at Lions Lookout, Murwillumbah

• Wooyung Beach, Wooyung

• Kirra Public Toilets, Musgrave Street, Kirra

Source: Cruisinggays.com



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