Investigation ongoing into alleged brothel

COMPLIANCE inspectors have been unable to substantiate complaints that a massage parlour at Hamilton advertising $40 ‘‘body rubs’’ is being run as a brothel.

An internal Newcastle City Council memo said the premises was inspected late last month and council compliance officers found ‘‘unauthorised building works’’ associated with the use of the premises as a massage parlour. The premises, which are not far from the Hamilton CBD, were not in use at the time of the inspection.

‘‘The allegation of the proposed use as a brothel has not been substantiated,’’ the council memo said.

The business will be required to seek development approval.

‘‘Compliance Services is currently pursuing the unauthorised building works and have advised the property owner and business proprietor of the need for development approval for the proposed change of use,’’ the memo said.

Hamilton business owners contacted Cr Scott Sharpe about the establishment, which advertises for $40 half-hour body rubs in the ‘‘adult services’’ classifieds.

Cr Sharpe said he hoped something could be done.

‘‘If the building is being used as alleged then ... it’s not acceptable,’’ Cr Sharpe said.

In a statement this week, a council spokesperson said an investigation was ongoing.

‘‘The City of Newcastle’s Compliance Services Unit is investigating claims the ... premises is being used as a massage establishment,’’ the spokesperson said.

Unapproved brothels are notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute.

Councils across NSW often hire private investigators to use the services.

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