Byron Bay’s first topless nightclub is set to come under close scrutiny by authorities after the shire’s mayor expressed reservations about the new licensed venue.
Topless bars have been part of the nightlife entertainment scene of the Gold Coast and Kings Cross over recent years, but the announcement of the town’s first such venue has caught some by surprise.
Mayor Simon Richardson says that while Byron Shire Council does not favour such a venue, its hands are tied as far as stopping the entertainment goes, which is seen in some quarters as exploiting sex to boost liquor sales.
Cr Richardson told media he hoped there would be no local support for the CBD-located business as it went against attempts to restore the town’s reputation in the wake of damaging reports about increasing alcohol-fuelled violence.
He told ABC North Coast this morning that such establishments undermined those attempts with an alcohol-based ‘sexualisation’.
‘These are the sorts of aspects of our nightlife that we’re trying to get away from and rejecting,’ the mayor told the ABC’s Bruce McKenzie.
‘It is disappointing and I hope financially isn’t overly successful.’
He also said he hoped the venue’s female employees were not exploited.
He said that ‘unfortunately’ the venue had a liquor licence and the topless nature of the alcohol service was ‘considered entertainment’.
Cr Richardson said he hoped the liquor licensing authority and Council’s compliance officers were ‘vigilant’ to ensure everything was ‘above board and appropriate as possible’, including female employment conditions.