Locals opposed to CBD strip club

Some community members have expressed concerns that the strip club could have a negative influence on children, families and businesses.

A child care centre currently operates across the road from the proposed venue.

Jen Schuller, manager at the Kath Dickson Family Centre, says her “biggest concern is that we have a playgroup that’s run here and that looks straight out over the road.”

“I just think the main concern for this facility is that our families and our children will be subject to that sort of traffic or influence in this part of town.

“It’s not just this family centre… its shops; it’s young mums walking past; it’s that general feel that it’s just not the right place,” she adds.

Local Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts says he has received many calls from people who are “concerned about setting a precedent of having an adult venue within 20 metres of a child care centre.”

This week a public meeting was held for locals to voice their concerns.

He says those in attendance are also worried by the club’s proposed 10am to 5am opening hours.

Matthew Jones, the director of Liquor and Gaming Specialists, is submitting the application for the club on behalf of the developers.

He doesn’t share the concerns of the people opposing the venue.

He says “the peak trading period for licensed entertainment venues, whether they’re adult entertainment venues or mainstream entertainment venues, is not normally during the day. It’s normally in the evening and night.”

“I suppose there is the potential for there to be business activity during the day. I don’t know precisely what form that will take or what their plans are,” he adds.

Mr Jones says people need to think objectively about what the actual impacts would be, “rather than sort of thinking ‘oh we don’t want a strip club in our town.’ These are government sanctioned regulated activities.”

“There’s a fairly robust enquiry that takes place – an assessment of the application; likely impacts; and all the views of the people who put in the petitions or objections, they are all taken into account. So we never take for granted the approval of these kinds of applications.”

Mr Jones believes that the majority of Toowoomba residents are in favour of the venue.

“It doesn’t to me seem like there is a groundswell of public opinion against this, it’s just that we have a fairly vocal minority.”

Jen says if people have concerns, they need to voice them now and not later.

“If you don’t say anything and it happens, you don’t have a right to say I didn’t want it. If you don’t want it, do something about it.”

The closing date for written objections is September 13.

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