Melbourne, Nov 12 (ANI): Sydney has more than double the number of legal brothels than in the whole of Victoria and Queensland combined.
A confidential NSW Government document revealed that in Sydney there are 244 legal brothels, with a further 90 "suspected" illegal brothels, while Victoria has just over 90 legal brothels, and Queensland just 24.
A total count showed that NSW has 271 legal brothels, including full-service and "happy ending" massage brothels.
But there could be more, as just 56 of the state's 152 councils - or just over a third - responded to the survey by the NSW Government. The state's other 96 councils refused.
Sydney has long been suspected as the sex capital of Australia, but the figures have shocked industry insiders.
A former ICAC and National Crime Authority organised crime investigator, who has raided more than 200 brothels across Sydney, said the figures were the first ever gathered by a NSW government.
"The proliferation of brothels has resulted from dysfunctional planning laws and legislation governing sex premises in NSW," the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.
Chris Seage, a former high-level consultant to the legal brothel industry in NSW, said he was shocked by the figures.
"I only thought there were about 150 legal brothels in NSW. Now it turns out there's double, and that's only in a third of the councils," he stated.There's no probity checks done in NSW. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can own a brothel, irrespective of their criminal background. You can be a murderer or a crime boss and legally own a brothel authorised by council," he said.
Acting Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Mike McDermott, agreed councils did not have the ability to stop the spread of brothels.
"We've been powerless to stop brothels starting up in our area," he added. (ANI)