Australian state names and shames cheeky offences

SYDNEY (AFP) - Consider it a warning to exhibitionists - an Australian state has officially listed "mooning or streaking" as examples of offences which can be dealt with under the law.

Victoria's Attorney General Martin Pakula said Monday (Sept 26) there had always been an offence of indecent or offensive exposure which could have covered those who choose to whip their clothes off in public.

But "mooning" and "streaking" are now cited as examples in the Crime Amendment (Sexual Offences) Bill which reformed more than 50 crimes and was passed on Sept 1 - separating the more comic form of indecent exposure from serious sexual nudity.

"In the context of separating those two offences out... we've given examples of what might fall into each category," Pakula told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

"We don't want a situation where someone who might streak at the cricket is bundled in to the same category of offender as someone who might jump out in front of a 13-year-old girl and flash," he said.

"They're very different types of offences and the legislation for the first time makes that clear."

But writer Lucy Valentine tweeted that it showed a "nanny state gone too bloody far", joking that mooning and streaking were "two of the most essential acts of civil disobedience".

"The comical nature of the Australian buttocks is a deeply entrenched piece of culture, and it's one I refuse to allow to be disparaged," she wrote in a light-hearted article for broadcaster SBS.

She noted that during a 2011 visit by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, a man bared his buttocks to the monarch during her tour of Brisbane, reportedly with an Australian flag clasped between his exposed cheeks.