MOTELS and hotels across Queensland face having their businesses turned into brothels or face hefty payouts to prostitutes, as a result of an anti-discrimination case decided earlier this week.
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal has found that Mr & Mrs Hartley, the owners of Moranbah's Drover's Rest Motel, have unlawfully discriminated against a prostitute, Karlaa, by refusing her a room for the purpose of conducting her prostitution business.
This decision means that prostitutes, who risk no capital themselves, can profit handsomely at the expense of a small business owner's investment.
"But where is the concern for motel owners who are losing millions off the capital value of their asset, as occupancy rates plummet?" asked Australian Family Association spokesperson, Mrs Tempe Harvey.
"Queensland families should also have the right to stay in a motel that has not been taken over for a brothel," she said.
Mrs Harvey pointed out that motel owners face a no-win situation.
"Either they see their investment run down or face demands for 'go away money' in the form of hefty financial penalties under the anti-discrimination regime, such as demanded by Karlaa," she said.
Mrs Harvey has backed calls from the Accommodation Association of Australia CEO Richard Munro, asking for Premier Newman to close down this anti-discrimination loophole, by clarifying the rights of all motel and hotel owners to decide what businesses, if any, are conducted from their premises.