Local leaders divided on brothel
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
LOCAL leaders are split as to whether a legal brothel in Gladstone is good or bad for the region.
Their comments come amid tonight's opening of Whispers In Paradise, the region's first brothel.
Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham has been one of the strongest opponents to legal brothels in Gladstone.
"I've never been in favour of brothels in the past and I am still against them,'' Ms Cunningham said.
Ms Cunningham said she would continue to table her opposition to brothels in parliament.
Despite Gladstone's first legal brothel gaining state approval, Ms Cunningham said she felt they had no place in Gladstone.
'I am totally opposed to brothels and I believe there is nothing redeeming about them,' Ms Cunningham said.
In the past Ms Cunningham said that while she was aware individual prostitutes were working in Gladstone, she believed a commercial brothel would bring the industry into the public arena.
'We should be reinforcing to young men especially the need to value and respect women,' Ms Cunningham has said in the past.
On the other hand Gladstone mayor Peter Corones has been noncommittal on the subject, stating that Council had little jurisdiction in relation to the brothel's approval.
'We can only judge it in relation to building approvals, not morality issues,' Cr Corones said.
Mr Corones said while the brothel would no doubt attract some negativity, it was still a business.
'The fact is it is a business like any other recognised by the state,' Cr Corones said.
Cr Corones said Gladstone's high level of industry and port facilities meant there would possibly be those in the city who would use the facility.
Under state legislation, dedicated industrial areas can be used for the establishment of a brothel, providing it is not close to homes, churches or schools.
Once it gains state approval it is then a matter for the Prostitution Licensing Authority (PLA) to decide on and regulate.