Tweed Daily News

Council to take on lap-dance bar

LEGAL moves to try to close the controversial 'adult' restaurant, the iBar, in central Tweed Heads will go ahead.

But the moves come despite a warning from a prominent Tweed solicitor that the iBar is little different from a normal restaurant, apart from the 'lap-dancing' entertainment.

After several behind-closed-doors meetings to debate the restaurant operation, which infuriated Tweed mayor Joan van Lieshout by displaying a risqué cartoon of her, Tweed Shire councillors have voted to attempt a prosecution.

Their decision followed a confidential legal report and secret legal briefings which alleged the operators were using the premises “in a manner different” to an approved restaurant, had carried out illegal building work and failed to pay thousands of dollars in building fees.

But solicitor Ken Lee told councillors before they went into a confidential session this week, the use of the premises had not changed since it was given approval to operate as a licensed restaurant.

“The lap-dancing is only incidental entertainment,” he said.

“No revenue is obtained from the lap-dancing activities. This is a licensed adult restaurant similar to other restaurants. The only difference is entertainment is provided.”

Mr Lee said the lap-dancing was similar to the provision of entertainment such as fine music in other restaurants.

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