Sydney's city council has voted down plans for a mega-brothel featuring rooms with multiple beds and pool tables, likening the development to a super-sized shopping mall that would threaten competition.
The proposed Aus$12 million (US$12.2 million) extension to the "Stiletto" premises in Sydney's Camperdown, doubling its working rooms to 40 and creating a wing for group bookings, would have made it Australia's biggest brothel.
But city councillors rejected the application at a meeting Monday night, saying it was too ambitious and would threaten other brothels in the area.
"This brothel is the Westfield of brothels," said councillor Shayne Mallard, referring to Australia's largest shopping mall chain.
"We're not prudes, we're not opposed to brothels, but we have a policy of anti-clustering, spreading them out."
Local residents expressed fears about noise, parking problems and that new retail space proposed as part of the development would become a sex shop.
Stiletto promotes itself as "the world's finest short stay boutique hotel and Sydney brothel". Its standard hourly rate of Aus$370 includes room, lady of choice, and beverages.
It is open 24 hours each day of the year except for Christmas Day and boasts a "mixed clientele" which it claims includes top-end celebrities including movie stars, sportspeople and rock bands.
Prostitution in Australia is governed by state and territory laws with brothels being legal in some parts of the country, including New South Wales, while in other areas, such as the Northern Territory, they are banned.