Homeless parents arrested after baby girl's death on Gold Coast beach

A homeless couple are being held in police custody in Australia after the tragic death of their nine-month-old baby on a Gold Coast beach.

The young girl's lifeless and naked body was found at Surfers Paradise on Monday at around 1:30am, and was unable to be revived by emergency services. It is believed she had drowned.

The 48-year-old father and 23-year-old mother are being questioned by authorities, who say the pair are known to them.

"This is a very tragic event. It's a very sad situation," said Detective Inspector Marc Hogan. "It will impact a lot of people."

At least two locals have told media they contacted police about the family's living situation before the tragedy occurred - but nothing was done.

"Clearly, I wasn't taken seriously," local resident Erin Sorensen wrote on Facebook.

"It was winter and the dunes were freezing every time the sun went down. I didn't think that was good for a baby or toddler."

"They had blankets at that time, but I would hear the newborn crying early hours of morning," another resident told the Gold Coast Bulletin. "Why was the baby left with the parents - just why?"

Reverend Jon Brook, from the St John's Church crisis care centre in Surfers Paradise, told the Courier Mail it was a "terrible tragedy".

"If it's the couple I believe, they were living as rough as it gets - in parks, toilet blocks, under bridges, wherever," he said. "I feel for that poor little child."

A two-year-old boy believed to be the sibling of the dead child has been recovered by police and is now in state care.