New library just doors away from topless bar
SOME Mackay residents feel they have had no say in Mackay Regional Council's plan to move the Mackay City Library to Victoria St next year, with concerns about its close proximity to adult entertainment and licensed venues.
While a State Government grant of $461,000 has been announced by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to establish the new Dudley Denny City Library, residents believe more consultation is needed.
In a letter to the editor, Mackay resident Patrick Noonan raised concerns about the new Dome location and its proximity to adult entertainment venues, given families would visit the library.
Errol Jorgensen - I'm born and bred in Mackay. This is a good area. having the library close to the Mecc. In other cities you'd have a long walk between them. To put it in the dead centre of town is abackward step. The parking will be hard for the elderly
"There are currently two licensed adult entertainment venues located at the entrance to the Dome and under Queensland legislation these businesses should not be established near schools, places of worship or "places where children gather for recreational or cultural purposes"," Mr Noonan wrote to the Daily Mercury.
"There is no provision in the legislation to prevent the reverse such as relocating a children's library near to a strip club.
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"Council's response to my question as to how they proposed to insulate children using the library from patrons of the adult entertainment venues was essentially that these businesses had not previously presented any problems for customers at The Dome."
Anne Mattsson - It will only complicate the parking problem. I'm a regular user and a friend of the library. I do deliveries for the library, which will be harder. It's not really an issue where it is.
Of the new library's location, Mr Noonan said he was "not a moral crusader".
"It is astounding that the mayor and deputy mayor, who have been vocal opponents of the dangers of this form of entertainment, apparently see no problem in exposing our children to it, at relatively close quarters," he said.
The council accepted the gift of the Dome complex, in a confidential part of the council meeting on July 22 this year. In the same motion moved by Deputy Mayor Kevin Casey and seconded by Cr Chris Bonanno, it was decided to accept the gift and move the Mackay City Library.
Natalie Thomas - It doesn't worry me as long as it's still in town. Ilike to relax there, have some quiet time. I think moving it close to adult entertainnment is an issue. Lots of families go to the library.
In 2007, Deputy Mayor Kevin Casey originally opposed the placement of Showbar 140, Mackay's adult entertainment venue, on the corner of Gregory and Victoria Sts, because it was close to a school and church and could lead to "anti-social behaviour" in the city heart.
"I was opposed originally - and I'm still opposed," Mr Casey told the Daily Mercury in 2007. "I'm a family man, I have family values and I don't think this sort of thing should be in a family orientated city.
Mayor Deirdre Comerford also publicly raised concerns in 2012, when Showbar applied for an extension of its liquor licence. "Our experience in the past is that it does present problems," Cr Comerford said at the time.
Addressing the concerns of residents over the new library being located close to adult venues, Cr Comerford said the adult business on the corner of Gregory and Victoria Sts had been operating lawfully for some years without any adverse effect on customers of The Dome.
"Relocating the library to The Dome does not breach any legislative requirements in relation to such venues," she said.