Griffith brothel users may have breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday night after a vote threatening sex establishments was defeated at Griffith City Council’s ordinary meeting.
Council heard a motion by Councillor Anne Napoli that a brothel policy change be put to the public for consideration – to allow 500 metres separation between a brothel and “sensitive land uses”, such as schools, churches and residential homes.
The current council policy states brothels should be 200 metres away from such establishments.
Council rejected Ms Napoli’s motion and voted in favour of sticking with this existing policy – so there will be no change for brothels in the near future.
Councillors Anne Napoli and Rina Mecuri asked that it be placed on the record that they voted “no” on retaining the brothel status quo.
In June, Cr Napoli moved a motion for the boundary on brothels to be extended to 1000 metres.
The June motion was defeated, but Ms Napoli warned brothel fans against premature jubilation, vowing then to have another crack at the issue.
“I owed it to the community to have another go at this,” Ms Napoli told council at the meeting.
A submission in support of the 500 metre rule cited the June The Area News article Council vote a happy end for brothels.
It was noted in the article Vickie, the madam of Griffith’s only legal brothel, said she agreed such establishments should not be located in residential areas, where children are around.
Ms Napoli is concerned a new brothel entering the Griffith market in the future could be located too close to sensitive areas.
Vickie had told The Area News that a move to force brothels 1000 metres away from residential areas could put her out of business.
She said the existence of her brothel means very few prostitutes work privately, unlike in Wagga where she estimates there are 50 to 60.
“Wagga has been the chlamydia capital of Australia for six years in row,” she said.
A poll by The Area News found 81 per cent of respondents think brothels should be allowed to operate legally in Griffith.