The anticipated furore over Emerald’s first strip club seemed to have simmered down, after it saw 2000 patrons through its doors in the eight days of trading.
Some local councillors who opposed the outback mining towns new “Moulin Rouge” themed development have taken a soft line on the issue, with the mature-aged deputy mayor Gail Nixon saying she was “a bit past it” to be attending such venues.
Cr Nixon conceded there was not widespread public outrage in response to the opening of the club.
“I don’t support it, but ultimately the people will decide if they want it,” she said.
Local member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson has chosen to speak loudly against the club, despite last year having voted for a bill which increased the duration of licensing for an adult entertainment venue from one to three years.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is degradation of the female body at its worst,” the minister said in parliament last week.
“The human body is the most sacred thing on this planet, and the female body is more sacred than the male body.”
The minister has now sought a review of the legislation covering adult entertainment licensing.
Emerald Star Hotel owner and licensee Andrew Ludlow wrote an open letter on Facebook, admonishing the minister for failing to see the prevailing attitude in his electorate
“It saddens me that our local member is so severely out of touch with his electorate,” he said.
“During the thorough twelve month application process petitions for and against our Entertainment Permit showed that a ratio of five to one people wanted the business open.”
Ludlow also referred to the implied sexism of the minister’s remarks relating to women’s bodies.
“The last thing the women of Central Queensland need is another man telling them what they can and can’t do with their bodies,” he said.
“Women are, and always have been, entirely capable of thinking for themselves.
“They do not need Mr Johnson speaking for them, and locking them away, under the false pretence of protection… Subjugators of women have always used the catch cry of “protection” as an excuse for oppression.”