Spurred on by the recent opening of The Vault on Ruthven adult entertainment centre despite the objections from the local council and community, Mr Watts is aiming to get 10,000 people to sign a new petition, in the hope of persuading the State Government to change legislation so that local governments have to final authority to approve adult entertainment venues.
“The problem at the moment is that local people don’t have any say and I, as an MP, don’t have any say,” said Mr Watts.
“I can’t change legislation on my own. We need the government minister responsible – the Attorney General – to propose the change and then I need 45 people in the parliament to support the change.”
In order to push for this change in parliament, Mr Watts needs as much community support as possible.
“To be taken seriously, I need 10,000 people to sign the petition, both from my community of 4350 and 4352, and also from across the state,” said Mr Watts.
“If all of a sudden, people from across the state are saying ‘Why can’t the local council decide if they want a strip club or not?’ then we have a good chance of influencing the State ministers in parliament.”
“Why does the State Government have legislation that allows a bureaucrat – who perhaps has never been to Toowoomba and never met any of the complainants – why do they get to decide if we have a strip club and where it goes?” said Mr Watts.