Sex panic in Geelong

“UNDERCOVER investigations have revealed that men are coming to Geelong from across the state for organised sex romps,” reads the breathless lead in the Geelong Advertiser. Apparently there’s a beat in Geelong. Who knew?

The ‘lock up your sons, homosexual predators are stalking our parks and reserves’ school of journalism isn’t new – it’s an old staple of small-town newspapers. Of course, no sex panic is complete these days without a mention of the internet:

“There is a website up for the Barwon River. It’s a gay website that advertises the area as a meeting place, in particular the back of the baseball field,” undercover policeman Acting Detective Sergeant Paul Michell said.

Leading Senior Constable Laurie Taylor, another one of the four undercover operatives in Geelong tasking unit’s Operation Teras, said the issue was bigger than people thought.

“People are very naive about what happens down there. They think that spot along the Barwon River is a beautiful spot and it is, but there’s a dark side to it,” Leading Sen-Constable Taylor said. “It’s a pretty disgusting area to be walking around in. There’s toilet paper everywhere where they’ve obviously wiped themselves after, there’s condoms, condom wrappers, underwear, garbage and the place smells of faeces.”

If the place stinks of shit, you’d think the council would go down there and clean it up.

The paper has a follow-up story today which is a bit more measured in its tone and quotes an unnamed gay man who pints out that the beat, “exposed in the Geelong Advertiser as one of five sex hotspots across the city,” is the only place to go to get a root down that way, but he doubts whether “the establishment of a gay nightclub would be enough to change negative perceptions of homosexuals in the city.”