Green light for red lights in your neighborhood
Most people recoil in horror at the thought of a brothel operating in their neighborhood. They’ll tell you that they don’t object to brothels as such, they just don’t want one in THEIR suburb, next the THEIR home. When asked why the typical response includes something about the inappropriateness of it all, a reference to Kings Cross and a very common ‘won’t somebody think of the children?’. But is there actually evidence to show that legal brothels have any negative impact on the surrounding community?
Before a legal brothel is considered in a neighborhood, it has to meet an extensive checklist of strict regulations. In 2005, Bankstown City Council released a strategic planning document prior to opening its first legal brothel. This document outlines all the considerations given when deciding if a brothel should be allowed, including a section titled ‘impact on the neighborhood’ which involves everything from proximity to schools to number of workers. The fact is, Councils are simply not allowed to approve a business, morally questionable or otherwise, that will have a negative impact on the local community.
The Mosman Penthouse has been open for business at 674 Military Rd for 10 years. Behind an unassuming security door, down a narrow alleyway and inside a level one apartment, two girls work six days a week. What affect does it have on the Mosman community?
Local business? Next door, Catherine Ellis has just opened Carre¢ Noir chocolate Studio. When asked about the brothel next door she immediately stated that it has ‘no impact on business whatsoever’. In fact she didn’t even know about it until one of the ‘girls’ came and introduced herself. ‘Now we just love it! We say ‘oh there goes another customer, they’ve sure been busy today!’ We never see any seedy men hanging around, just normal looking people’.
Crime? Officer Kyle Christian has been called to number 674 once in his two and a half years at Mosman police station and says he’s the only one. ‘Some drunk guy forgot to pay for his cab and the driver just kept the meter running. I would hardly blame the brothel for that’.
Residents? ‘If they’re working at night sometimes we see their party lights but that’s about it. I don’t really think about it’ says a resident who’s balcony backs onto the brothels shared parking area.
Most legal brothels operate within communities that have little to no knowledge of their existence. Many Mosman residents were outraged after the existence of the brothel at number 674 was brought to their attention during a council meeting earlier this year. The brothel proposed extending its business hours but council refused after concluding that it would result in a disturbance within the neighborhood, proving that the strict guidelines work for the community.
So before you judge this legitimate money making business and begin sentences with ‘how could they?’, think about looking for proof of a brothel’s negative affect on your neighborhood, if you even know it’s there.Tags: community, sex