A Melbourne brothel owner wants to turn Torquay into a “mini Amsterdam”.
Andrew Hewinson, owner of Lygon Street’s Pickwood Lodge, said he had steppedup talks with shire planning officers and investigations of potential sites for a brothel in Torquay.
He said the sextrade venue would boost tourism in the area.
“Torquay could be promoted as having the best sex and the best surf,” Mr Hewinson said.
“Torquay could be like Australia’s miniAmsterdam.”
Mr Hewinson said customers from Torquay had asked him to establish a brothel on the Surf Coast.
He expected other brothel operators to muscle in on the action.
“I could possibly be the first but I’ve heard rumours other brothels are looking at the area,” Mr Hewinson said.
“There is certainly a market down there.”
Mr Hewinson made headlines several years ago after Ballarat, Beaufort and Bendigo councils removed his billboards targeting country Victoria.
In 2004, shires deemed his gigantic signs featuring slogans like ‘Sex: chocolates and flowers not required,’ as distasteful.
However, Surf Coast Shire councillors could have their hands tied if Mr Hewinson lodged a planing application for a brothel in Torquay.
A shire spokesperson told the Independent last month that “moral and social” issues were not grounds for refusing the application.
The spokesperson said councillors were required to look at planning aspects only while ignoring social and economic impacts.
Brothel proponents had yet to lodge planning applications, the spokesperson said.
Surf Coast Shire Community and Ratepayers Association’s Lyn Smith rejected the brothel plan last month.
“If you live in Jan Juc you are out of the commercial area, but there is no limits to what you can do in Torquay,” she said.
“Brothels are not what people wanted when they came here. It is not for a place like Torquay. Maybe in a more built up area like Melbourne but it is totally wrong here and councillors should listen to the people.”