Willoughby Council tightens its belt on illegal brothels

Adele Palfreeman

The Land and Environment Court has ordered the closure of an illegal brothel operating in Chatswood, run under the name ‘Pretty Baby Massage’ and ‘Pretty Massage’. Located on 218/1 Katherine Street, the brothel’s owner, Xiao Yan Wu, has been fined $15,000.

The brothel was situated in a high-rise residential building and fronted as a remedial massage parlour. On the ‘Pretty Massage’ website it advertised that:

“All the masseuses have been strictly selected and trained, [and] come from Japan, Korea and Taiwan. We are young, but we are very professional on doing massage since we like doing our job and try to make you get [the] best service from us.”

Rebecca Hill, a spokesperson from Willoughby Council, said several illegal brothels were forced to close this year in the Chatswood area.
“Council has served four Brothel Closure Orders in 2014 and also initiated separate proceedings in the Land & Environment Court of NSW to force the closure of three illegal brothels,” she said.
There are multiple legal brothels and sex shops open in Chatswood, such as ‘La Petite Aroma’ on Railway Street. Ms Hill said illegal businesses “unfairly impact” these legal brothels. She also said they “pose a risk to public health and amenity”.

Fairfax Media reported there were 34 illegal North Shore sex shops open in 2013. Ms Hill said Willoughby Council was currently imposing strict measures to stop this illegal activity.

“[The] council has strict planning controls to restrict where brothels may be located and operated. Council also has sophisticated surveillance, investigation and enforcement operations to target and close illegal brothels. [Willoughby] council is committed to protecting the community and up-holding its planning and development controls”.