Concerns over lap dance bar

PUBLIC backlash is mounting against a controversial lap dance bar in the heart of Tweed Heads.

Parents, church members and Tweed residents have voiced concerns over the ibar restaurant and bar near Jack Evans Boat Harbour, which promotes lap dances with the “hottest chicks on the coast”.

Tweed mums Jodie McLachlan and Melanie Hosking both have children who attend the nearby Tweed Heads Public School.

They said the ibar was not in “the best” spot.

Ms McLachlan said she walks with her son past the ibar to a Wharf Street bus stop when he finishes school.

“It's not the best place to have it, and there was quite a big blue outside it yesterday,” she said. “My partner saw it from the bus stop and he had to cover my son's eyes.”

Ms Hosking agreed.

“They are openly advertising for lap dancers out the front - at least the brothel is discreet,” Ms Hosking said. “You've got three porn shops in a half-kilometre radius right near a school, and they have photos of naked women on the doors. It's inappropriate.”

Ms McLachlan said: “I don't think they took the school zone into account when they did the planning for these places. I have to walk past the sex shops on the way to the bus stop and the first thing my son sees is the word 'toys' and wants to go in there.

“We also have to see people going in and out (of the ibar).”

Megan McKnight, whose son also attends the school, said the ibar “wouldn't last long”.

“A lot of kids go down to the harbour there,” she said. “There'll be a lot of complaints and it won't last long.”

Yesterday, the Tweed Daily News revealed that the ibar, self-described as “Australia's only adult restaurant”, was under investigation by Tweed Shire Council.

We can now reveal that a second investigation was yesterday conducted by the NSW Department of Gaming.

State Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said he met with Gaming Minister Kevin Greene to discuss the ibar's liquor licence.

Mr Provest said he was alarmed at suggestions from staff that the ibar was operating under Queensland legislation.

“They are in NSW and they've got to comply with NSW laws,” he said.

“I've had a meeting with the minister and his department and they are investigating it.

“They need to have a council permit for public entertainment, just like any other pub and club.”

The Nationals MP said he had been inundated with calls about the location of the ibar, which rests within metres of popular family spot Jack Evans Boat Harbour.

“I have been contacted by a number of Tweed residents who have expressed great concern about the place,” Mr Provest said.

“They see Jack Evans Boat Harbour as an area of family enjoyment and family fun and advertising for that sort of entertainment is inappropriate.”

Father Michael Brady of St Joseph's Parish said he wasn't aware of the ibar and its adult entertainment.

“At this time, I haven't had any issues raised by parents at the school or other members of the community,” Fr Brady said yesterday.

Ibar owner, known only as “Warren”, said he had no concerns about his business being investigated.

“We're running this place to the letter of the law,” he said. “We have some very good lawyers and good advisers on board.

“If people are concerned about the ibar, why don't you ask them if they are worried about the sex shops and the brothel across the road.”

As far as the fight was concerned, he said it was on the other side of the road and the ibar wasn't even open at the time.

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