By Paul Dobbyn
JENNY Goodwin is asking state Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie “to stop sitting on his hands” and ensure that adult entertainment venues similar to The Vault on Ruthven in Toowoomba are not imposed on other communities.
“As the minister in charge of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, the attorney-general needs to have a good look at what’s getting approved in his name,” the Towoomba resident said.
“In the case of The Vault, the worst thing is it’s been opened in an area frequented by families.
“The precinct also has in close proximity, churches, day care centres and a Lifeline centre.”
The Vault on Ruthven, run by the company LA Showgirls, opened on Wednesday, March 26.
Mrs Goodwin said she’s “speaking for thousands who feel the same way” in challenging Mr Bleijie.
“Prior to approval and construction of The Vault, more than 3000 people raised their concerns as well as the chamber of commerce, State MP Trevor Watts and the assistant police commissioner,” she said.
“Even this was not enough.
“The decision makers in the Office of Liquor and Gaming simply said all complaints had been considered and the development was still going ahead.
“Until changes made by the Labor Government, and so far kept by the Coalition, local councils made decisions about such developments.
“This was appropriate as councils were much more connected to the local community.”
Mrs Goodwin has now started a petition which requests that “the democratically elected local government should have the final decision-making autonomy and authority to accept or reject the location of an adult entertainment permit in their community”.
She also said the approval process for venues such as The Vault on Ruthven would seem to run counter to the LNP Government’s recently announced Safe Night Out Strategy to address alcohol and drug fuelled violence in Queensland.
Mrs Goodwin said the approval of the greyhound track at Cronulla Avenue in Logan despite strong public opposition was an example of another unpopular decision by the Office of Liquor and Gaming.
“I also understand the community of Emerald is gearing up to oppose an adult entertainment venue too,” she said.
Mr Bleijie, in response to Mrs Goodwin’s concerns, said the government “had listened to Queenslanders and agreed with their concerns”.
“This is why part of the draft Safe Night Out Strategy includes local councils and communities being given more of a say when it comes to approving or rejecting new adult entertainment licenses,” he said.
“The government made a commitment to deliver better infrastructure and planning and revitalise frontline services and the Government will be releasing the final plan in the very near future.”
Mrs Goodwin’s petition seeking changed government processes in approving adult entertainment permits can be found at www.parliament.qld.gov.au. It is e-petition 2249-14.