Tweed’s new brothel code has fallen at its first hurdle after the council voted to reverse its earlier refusal to allow a longstanding Chinderah establishment to expand its operations.
The council last April rejected an application by the owners of the Venus Room on the Chinderah industrial estate to lift a daytime curfew to allow it to stay open 24 hours and to approve a make-over of eight workrooms.
Councillors cited the restricted trading hours contained in a draft brothel DCP which they had adopted just hours before in a bid to stifle the shire’s sex industry.
But the anti-brothel crusade collapsed without a whimper when planning staff disclosed at last month’s meeting that the owners were now planning to appeal, prompting councillors Barry Longland and Katie Milne to abandon brothel hardliners Joan van Lieshout and Warren Polglase. They joined Youngblutt, Skinner and Holdom to allow it – but they did back a successful move to negotiate consent conditions after staff told them the extended trading hours would not annoy other businesses on the estate because other businesses were closed at night.
The backflip comes only months after the council was left more than $10,000 out of pocket when it failed to stop a so-called super brothel on South Tweed’s industrial estate, although it curtailed its opening hours.