Queensland’s first legal brothel closes doors
WHAT was Queensland's first legal brothel at Kunda Park has closed but for how long is unclear.
Scarlet Harem is no longer listed by the Prostitution Licensing Authority as a licensed brothel and the PLA has advised the licensee has voluntarily surrendered the licence.
Although the PLA said the brothel closed on May 26, a message on Scarlet Harem's answering machine this week said was "currently closed for the premises to be completely refurbished."
"We look forward to seeing you as soon as we can and re-opening with the Scarlet ladies... ," the message said.
There was no answer on a mobile number that was given in the message and the Daily did not receive a response to a request for someone to call back and discuss the brothel's status.
There was no work being carried out at the premises when the Daily visited today and a staff member at a nearby business said there had been no sign of anyone there for about two months.
Attempts to contact Paris Satine, the long time licensee, were unsuccessful.
The Sunshine Coast's other brothel, Lush, has seized on the opportunity to advertise it itself as "proudly the Sunshine Coast's only legal brothel".
Lush general manager Emma Bennett said several women who used to work at Scarlet Harem had sought work at Lush.
She said Lush was busier "but we were booming before".
Scarlet Harem opened as Moulin Rouge with fanfare in 2002 and media representatives were invited to tour the premises before it welcomed its first customers.
Ms Satine was later changed its name to Scarlet Harem after the Moulin Rouge in Paris raised objections to the use of its name on the brothel.
The brothel was the source of controversy in 2004 after claims that brothel staff attending the Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards attempted to solicit guests.
Ms Satine denied the claim but was later fined for a technical breach of legislation on the night of the awards by not having a manager on duty at the brothel, even though it had only been open for inquiries and bookings and not sexual activities.
The brothel was again the talk of the town in 2014 when it advertised a lunchtime special of a "pie, a coke and a poke."
The PLA said neither Ms Satine nor Scarlet Harem had been the subject of investigation prior to the brothel's closure last month.
Ms Satine is known to have experienced health issues in recent years and told in 2014 of having to undergo extensive surgery for problems with her spine.