Queensland residents are due to be given a say in whether they want Adult Entertainment venues in their towns after the state government introduced legislation
to allow council’s to veto permits.
The measure was announced earlier this month when Queensland Premier Campbell Newman introduced legislation to tackle alcohol and drug fuelled violence in Queensland. The strategy
outlines a number of measures including the council’s right to veto Adult Entertainment license applications to “empower local communities”.
The decision will be welcomed by Toowoomba residents who had campaigned against the city’s first strip club, The Vault on Ruthven
. More than 3000 people had objected to the Commissioner of Liquor and Gaming decision to grant a permit to the strip club. The matter was then taken to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal by four objectors but the Commissioner’s decision to grant the permit was upheld.
The QCAT decision prompted Toowoomba resident and ACL supporter Jennifer Goodwin to launch a petition
calling for the right of councils to veto Adult Entertainment permits. She told the Chronicle
“Councils are democratically elected, whereas bureaucrats in Brisbane aren't...They can rubber stamp things, and they don't have to deal with the end result...I'm hoping that's the outcome - that the approval, or not, of adult entertainment permits happens with community that are going to have them there." Her petition was sponsored by Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts and gathered more than 600 signatures.
Toowoomba is not the only city which has objected to adult strip clubs. Residents in the Central Queensland town of Emerald have also objected to an adult entertainment venue, The Star Hotel in Emerald, opening up in the town this year. The member for Gregory, Vaughan Johnson, made a private members statement in parliament this year against the strip club. He told parliament
“Where's respect gone in our society, when we can see a bureaucrat make a decision [which] over rules a community's objections, a local council's objections, business objections, church objections, even myself as the local member, objections?”
The legislation is expected to be passed next month.
ACL's Katherine Spackman spoke to ACL's Queensland Director Wendy Francis about the issue on this week's edition of The Political Spot.