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Tilting at Windmills

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Part 2: Review of NSW laws.



Part 2:


A bit "rough and ready" - I will need to polish it and add references. I guess the thrust of this bit will be the desirability of consistent rules beteween Councils and the need for "evidence based" legislation. There have been several cases in the Land and Environment Court where Council rejections have been overruled because of lack of evidence.


Responses to Questions


Chapter 5


Questions for consideration:


Do you have any evidence about sex services premises’ impact on residential amenity?


I do not live near a sex service premises, so can only comment based upon anecdotal evidence.


Recently there was considerable media coverage of the number of unapproved establishments in the Willoughby LGA. This was in part related to the ICAC inquiry into the corruption of a Council officer, involving amongst other things the receipt of sexual services at an unapproved brothel. A report presented to the Willoughby City Council General meeting on 18 April 2011 (item 22) stated:


"Council’s Compliance Unit processes over 3,000 complaints across a range of issues each year. Complaints regarding alleged illegal brothel activity have been lodged predominately by operators of legitimate brothel businesses or their agents and represent about 0.2% of all complaints processed each year by the Compliance Unit."


The report went on to identify the actions taken on a number of complaints received over several years. From the small number of complaints received, it certainly does not appear that the broader community in the Willoughby LGA sees brothels as a significant problem.


As identified by the Prior and Crofts report quoted in the discussion paper, another measure of public concern is the number of submissions Councils receive to Development Applications for brothels. A recent one in Hornsby received eight. Four were from residents several kilometres away. None of these submissions, nor any of the local media coverage identified any problems associated with the two existing Land and Environment Court approved brothels in Hornsby.


When an establishment in Pymble applied to have its 12 month trial period made permanent, seven submissions were received. Two of these (including the resident living next to the entry to the brothel were in favour. That resident was interviewed by the local newspaper:


[Resident], whose house is 15m from the brothel, said he had never heard any noise or had any trouble with the business.


“My wife and I feel the operation of the brothel is very low-key and we have never noticed anyone arriving or leaving,” [Resident] said. “We are happy to live here and are more concerned about alcohol consumption by larrikins.”


I refrain from quoting the name of the resident but the name is in the North Shore Times Article.


The seven received about this brothel contrasts with the 800 or so received about the proposed Eruv.


Another example is the two approved brothels in Hampden Road Artarmon. One was approved by Council, The other (an almost identical situation) was rejected by the Council (despite the recommendation for approval by the Council's planning department) six months later. The Land and Environment Court overruled Council. There were no documented complaints about either place (they were operating unapproved for some time).


There will probably be more on this later..

I think I have said this before - but Barry's Brothel Licensing Authority is ultimately a "great big new bureaucracy" to be funded by a "great big new tax" (acknowledgements to Mr Abbott) - or licencing fees. Guess who will pay for that ... Yep, that is right. Us punters.


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