Thu 1 Sep 2016

What to do about the illegal brothel "massage" places across from Tott train station?

Jose Ramos Public Seen by 317

[I want to use this thread to go from problem discussion to policy proposal to policy development. I think if we follow this line, it will clarify our own process for engaging with these issues in a policy empowered way. will you play?]


Jose Ramos Thu 1 Sep 2016

About five years ago when the places opened, I learned about them offering sex from a couple of friends who went in for a massage. When I called council, a council worker told me that those properties were listed as massage places. As such she told me that they had no jurisdiction over issues related to brothels. She confided to me that she knew about the issue, that others had complained, and she realised they were brothels. But it was outside of council's scope to regulate, she said. She suggested to me that I contact the police, that police had jurisdiction over brothels.

I then did contact the police, and was referred to a particular detective at the Footscray office. I was told to leave a description of the issue, and he would get back to me. But he never did get back to me. I even followed up a second time, but was told the detective was out and "would get back to me". This whole episode left me feeling quite disempowered and without a clue as to what to do.

There are several reasons I dislike the illegal brothels on the corner.

Besides the tackiness and ugliness of the look and the "parking out back" signs that clearly promote anonymity, there are other reasons I don't like them.

1 - they have illegal sex workers, who are unregulated, can more easily spread HIV, may be exploited, etc

2 - they do not pay taxes on sex work, so someone is enlarging their purse at the expense of society

3 - they bring the wrong type of customers to the area

I know that removing the businesses from this local area would not solve the problem across Melbourne (as I understand it is a melb wide problem).

However, if we were able to develop some solution for council policy, perhaps other municipalities could also adopt it?

anyways, this is a conversation starter.

first the problem, we can tackle the solution as it emerges.




Elena Mon 12 Sep 2016

What do you think is the best course of action? Should we draft a letter to the council and local police. I am going to run a garage sale for the garage sale trail and would be happy to have a petition of support for people to sign on the day. It may also be a good time to send it around to the candidates looking to be elected in the upcoming council elections.


Natalie Lumsden Wed 21 Sep 2016

Yes i think writing a letter to the police asking for an investigation into the matter ie confirming if illegal or not and get several of us signing off on the letter. Could also get the leader to do the work for us and investigate the matter. i am sure the police will listen to them. We could just send a message to the maribyrnong leader asking alerting them to our concerns via there fb page