Our dirty little secret

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More than a dozen legal brothels are currently operating in the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA).

Penrith has 14 registered brothels operating, seven behind Parramatta which has 21.
In the Blacktown LGA there are seven legalised brothels, with three of the seven initially refused by Council, but approved on appeal to the Land and Environment Court.

Across western Sydney, it’s thought a large number of illegal brothels are also in operation.

“Due to the clandestine nature of illegal brothels, Council is often only made aware of their existence through complaints,” a Blacktown Council spokesperson said.

“For this reason, we urge members of the public to report potentially illegal brothels to Council for investigation.”

Inspections of brothels aren’t uncommon in the Penrith area.

“Council officers may inspect a brothel, massage and/or a tattoo parlour in response to a complaint from a customer or member of the public in relation to matters including, but not limited to, illegal operation, unhygienic conditions and practices, noise, poor waste management, and fire safety concerns,” a spokesperson for Penrith Council said.

A Parramatta Council spokesperson said they often get complaints about the operation of illegal brothels in their area, or legal brothels operating outside of the rules.

“Council has a well-established procedure regarding these matters and any allegations are thoroughly investigated,” the spokesperson said.

“If such a use is proven, Council has the authority to issue a Brothel Closure Order (Order 1) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.”

Any legalised brothel must submit a development application to their local Council to receive authority to operate.

“Brothels and restricted premises are considered to be a land use that is only permitted in commercial and mixed use zones identified in Council’s Local Environment Plan 2010 and require development approval,” a Penrith Council spokesperson said.

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