Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
February 23rd, 2003

A home is not the place to establish a brothel, and our suburbs are not the place where brothels should operate. At the end of January, Barry Cotter. Mayor of Marrickville Council announced the Council would no longer require prostitutes working in the area to submit a development application for a brothel if they worked from a home in the area known for its family homes. I immediately hit the media and condemned the Council's new planning law. Many people heard or read my comments of how the Marrickville Council have basically washed their hands of the brothel problem. By supporting the demand of clients the Council has shown a total lack of concern for young women who have been caught in the tangled web of drugs and prostitution.

I said in the press, "This decision deregulates brothels and changes their geographic locality by allowing them to operate next to schools, churches, shopping centres and home units without government consent." The Act very specifically states that brothels are not to operate near or within view of a church, hospital, school or any place regularly frequented by children for recreation or cultural activities. When the State Government handed planning control of brothels over to local Councils the Attorney General, Hon Jeff Shaw said, 'It is not the intention of the bill that brothels be permitted to operate unregulated.' This action taken by Marrickville Council effectively allows brothels to operate unregulated. This move will prohibit the community from complaining about the significant detrimental effect of a brothel on their neighbourhood. As a development application is no longer required for a single-operator brothel in Marrickville, neighbours will have no grounds on which to complain. Allowing single-operator brothels without consent means that no government agency, health and social workers, will be able to ensure that prostitutes have proper medical supervision, enforce the use of condoms and protect against the spread of HIV infection."

I am glad to see in the press this week that following the public outrage including my stand, the Council has backed down on its decision. The voice of Christians must be heard in our land, and when it is, we can change things!