Backlash against brothel DA for Townsend

This flyer has been put together by Townsend residents opposing a development application for a brothel in the industrial precinct.
This flyer has been put together by Townsend residents opposing a development application for a brothel in the industrial precinct. Tim Howard

LOWER Clarence churches have launched a petition to protest against a brothel proposed for the Townsend industrial estate.

The congregations of most churches in Maclean, Townsend and Yamba will find copies of a petition to sign when they arrive for tomorrow's services.

The Uniting Church pastor in Maclean, Mark Callaghan, said the petition would be with Clarence Valley Council in time to meet the December 20 deadline for the DA's exhibition period.

Community and religious groups have been organising protests against the plan, revealed in a development application to the council lodged on November 30.

The development seeks to repurpose a shed on a former bus depot at 5 Re Rd, with four rooms for the provision of sexual services plus car parking for workers and customers.

The Senior Minister Wellspring Christian Church Yamba, Pastor Gavin Sanders, said the ministers had met and penned a protest letter to the council to go with the petition.

Mr Sanders said ministers knew the DA most likely fulfilled all planning requirements for the development.

"It's not so much a brothel in Townsend, but why prostitution is allowed in our community at all," he said.

"Our humanity is sacred. Prostitution legal or illegal reduces people to objects and takes away their humanity.

"Our nation and community has rightly taken a stand to eradicate domestic violence.

"There are television advertisements that engage the public in the harmful impact of violence towards women."

Mr Callaghan wondered if there was police vetting of the brothel owners and workers.

"It's been well established there's often a connection between brothels and organised crime," he said.

The community has also joined the backlash against the brothel proposal.

An anonymous Townsend resident has put together a flyer calling on the community to let the council know it does not want a brothel.

It also argued prostitution exists to abuse women by reducing them to objects for the sexual gratification of men.

The Daily Examiner contacted the council for a comment about the DA, but had not received a call back by its Friday deadline.

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