The Byron Shire Council has rejected a push to cover up at its only nude-bathing beach, instead announcing a plan to look for a new site closer to the tourist town's centre.
Byron Shire staff had recommended revoking the council's management of the clothes-optional area at Tyagarah Beach, north of the town.
But councillors this week rejected the recommendation.
The shire's mayor, Simon Richardson, says nude bathing has a long tradition that should be maintained.
"Certainly it's been a time honoured experience to whip the clothes off and have a swim," Councillor Richardson said.
"I think it's really important that places like Byron can still foster that alternative lifestyle, where people can go about their business with a sense of freedom that maybe they don't feel elsewhere."
But he says the issue is also a legal minefield, both in terms of the status of Tyagarah Beach but also of nude bathing in general.
"We found out that council's resolution to declare that particular beach clothes optional actually had not juristiction whatsoever. We will maintain it, but it doesn't have any particular teeth," Councillor Richardson said.
"There's three state bodies that control it... so we are probably the least appropriate manager of the clothes optional capacity at that beach, but I guess we had a little bit more intent to do so.
"Both marine parks and national parks and wildlife service basically said to us, if you want to have a clothes optional beach, you manage it.
"I received a bit of legal advice just recently that it's actually not illegal anywhere to be nude, per sae. It's only if you can be shown to be doing lewd or indecent behaviour."
The council will now consider other beaches closer to the Byron Bay town centre.
"One of the problems with clothes optional beaches has been some of the, I guess, predatory sexual nature of the guy in the sand dunes, as it were," Councillor Richardson said.
"There hasn't been oodles of cases in this particular site, but the beach is quite a long way from everywhere else.
"Our question is, can we find a beach that's perhaps a bit closer, a bit more user friendly in the wider community? Many eyes keep an area safe, particularly for our women and young kids."