Regular readers will recall the four articles I wrote about Australian brothel investigators. Now it seems that the pressure has grown too much to bear for the company that employed them. Courtesy of a link provided by Australian reader Snoggeramus, we read in the Sydney Morning Herald:
For almost 10 years, Brothel Busters conducted surveillance on behalf of councils and the legal brothel industry. Its work saw more than 60 brothel closure orders issued across 16 council areas. However, the agency's owner, Chris Seage, confirmed he had been forced to "call time" on the operation because there is now "no viable legal avenue" to shut parlours.
"I have made this decision in light of the election result last Saturday," he said. "Unfortunately it is just too hard to close illegal brothels when you are dealing with a government that doesn't care."
Mr Seage said although work was still "pouring in", he had told clients it would be wrong to continue accepting work when there was no legal framework to use the evidence.
"I hate to say it, but I've given up," he said.
. . .
Before he was elected last week, Premier Mike Baird said he would ask the NSW Parliament to establish a "full parliamentary inquiry" into the regulation of brothels across the state. The announcement makes him the third consecutive NSW Premier to have made a pledge relating to the industry – and cleaning it up. In 2011, the O'Farrell government promised, if elected, to introduce a "new licensing authority" as an "early priority". Nothing eventuated. And in 2007, then Labor premier Morris Iemma rolled out reforms that placed the onus on councils to govern the industry. He said courts would be able to shut premises down in less than a week. But in reality, the courts can no longer close them down at all.
Last year, it emerged that at least 10 Sydney councils were paying private investigators to have undercover sex, as a last resort to gain evidence that could convince a judge to close an illegal establishment down. But last month, one of those, Hornsby Shire Council, lost a landmark court case against an illegal operator, with a judge having ruled that council's evidence of sex being sold on the premises fell short of NSW's specific definition of the term "brothel", which requires more than one prostitute to be providing services on site. The outcome means Hornsby – and other councils – would have to fund multiple trips, by private investigators, inside suspect premises to have any chance of a result.
There's more at the link.
Sad news indeed. A rich vein of humor will no longer be there to be mined. Of course, one doesn't