‘Surfers will become red-light district’
A SURFERS Paradise strip club boss has joined State MPs condemning council's proposed "party house" zone, saying it risks turning the tourism heart into a red-light district.
The Gold Coast City Council has earmarked a dedicated zone in central Surfers Paradise for legal party houses to be let for stripper and swinger nights.
A proposal to enshrine it in the City Plan was met by howls of protest by Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek and Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens who drove legislation under the previous Newman Government aimed at outlawing party houses.
Now Hollywood Showgirls owner Craig Duffy, who has operated his strip club and nightspot in central Surfers for more than 13 years, said council didn't know what it was green lighting.
"By doing this you create a mini potential Kings Cross in every high-rise unit in Surfers," he said.
"The problem is they are creating a legal perception of this type of event, it's damaging for Surfers Paradise and all the hard work Gold Coast Tourism has done.
"We're going to be known as the red-light district."
The council's designation allows home and unit owners to let properties for bucks parties and swingers' soirees as long as it can't be seen or heard from neighbouring properties or public places.
Approved party house operators would have to draw up crowd management plans, have a bouncer, and keep a guest log.
No more than eight visitors would be allowed with a limit to two overnight guests per bedroom.
Council planning committee chair Cameron Caldwell, unable to be contacted yesterday, has said confining party houses to a defined Surfers area was aimed at "saving our suburbs".
Mr Duffy said: "Surfers is an entertainment precinct so I understand their thinking but they have failed to understand the entertainment they are approving.
"This is brand damaging. Would we want 50 strip clubs? No, we wouldn't."
Mr Duffy agreed with Surfers councillor Gary Baildon who has said it would be the bane of residents' lives and impossible to police.
The zone goes from Hamilton Ave to View Ave.