Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Metamorphosis of The Cross

It's not if, but when.

A butcher or bakers shop is not a reality for The Strip. Rents are far too
high and are unlikely to allow for this type of staple provider in the
foreseeable future. But good quality retailers and retail service magnets,
such as council offices, a library, Telco shops, insurance company offices,
banks and a RTA shopfront are the types of traders necessary to revitalise
our high street. The commercial marketplace will ultimately produce the best
businesses for the role of providing the best mix for locals and visitors.
In the meantime, the Kings Cross Partnership is preparing a retail mix
masterplan to influence and guide property owners and agents, council, state
government and prospective tenants.

There is only one legal brothel on the main street outside a strip club and
it appears to be struggling to survive (it rarely appears to be open).

And I doubt if most of the strip clubs on The Strip will survive, especially
if the KX Police & City work hard to cut the benefits these establishments
derive from the heroin trade. Basically, the economics of the sex industry
don't work on The Strip anymore. Competition in other areas, internet porn
and the outdated nature of the establishments has been eroding it for the
past decade. It can only keep hanging on hand-in-hand with the heroin trade.
It's heroin that makes the girls work, and work cheap. The industry is built
on human misery and exploitation. This is not something we wish to support
or promote in our neighbourhood or our main street.

We might see some more contemporary and legitimate 'Dancers' type
establishments emerge in the future. And better quality sex shops. I believe
the sex industry will live on in a much reduced and legitimised form at
least for the next decade or so. After that, who knows!

Remember, the bulk of the sex industry was in East Sydney and Woolloomooloo
30-40 years ago. It hasn't always been focused in Kings Cross. Things
change. Commerce (which it is) goes in cycles. Nothing is forever. What
makes Kings Cross exciting and intriguing are its amazing dynamic
qualities. It continually evolves and reinvents its self. We can't row
against the tide of time (look what happened to Gatsby!).

I love the Cross, it's a great place to live!

Stephen Carnell, Kings Cross Partnership,
Resident, Elizabeth Bay


Anonymous said...

Stephen Carnell's vision for Kings Cross is revealed. He wants "people
magnets" like the RTA and mortgage companies. He hopes that the strip clubs
disappear and bland bureaucracy takes their place. His world view is
dominated by "the market". Who is funding the Kings Cross Partnership to the
tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars? Answer: the City Council. Is this
their vision for Kings Cross? I trust not. There needs to be a quick review
of Carnell's funding. Who is he? Who does he represent other than 'the big
end of town'? He is entitled to his view but why should ratepayers' money
pay his inflated wages? He is clearly out of step with what most people want
for The Strip.

Phillip Boulten
President Kings Cross ALP

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Stephen, he did say the retail mix would sort itself out. I would like to see an RTA or a Medicare Office in the Cross -- with 50 empty shops there is room, and the place needs daytime magnets.

Re the sex industry, the reason it is so tacky, twee and boring is the 1940s era censorship laws that keep it decades behind their equivalents in other countries and hopelessly outstripped by internet porn and the XXX DVDs for sale in every sex shop. Little wonder if some rely on heroin for profit.

The Cross should be a special zone where adults CAN have fun and couples want to go. There are a lot of broadminded people in Sydney and the State Government needs to catch up with its own population instead of pandering to narrow-minded hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

“the market -hundreds of thousands of dollars-Carnell's funding -Big end of town-ratepayers' money-inflated wages”

Oh dear all this envy and seething resentment.

Whatever most people want for the strip it ain’t what we’ve got cause they are staying away in their hundreds of thousands.

Four seedy strip joints/brothels and a McDonalds does not make the Cross.

Hey Stephen I think he wants you to give back the NSW government’s funding they have contributed to your cause to help the area clean up its act.

Anyhow - whoever he is he is not a Labour party president. No labour party president could be so stupid.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes they could. See todays Herald;

"A former ALP official has been found guilty of employing child prostitutes at his brothel in Wollongong, south of Sydney.

Neville Hilton, the former president of the ALP Albion Park branch, quit the party last year following allegations two girls, aged 13 and 14, worked at his Southern Belle escort agency at Port Kembla"

That's why he wants to keep the Cross dirty.

Anonymous said...

laywers are skilled at the art of twisting the words of others to serve their own agenda

Anonymous said...

What is a President Kings Cross ALP?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that Stephen Carnell's love of the Cross is purely as real estate. As he says Kings Cross continually evolves and reinvents itself. We'd rather it continued to evolve as an entertainment precinct - without involvement of a group of wowsers who's idea of a fun district seems to be a Telco shop.

The Editor said...

I agree with the above comment -- but don't forget the place has to run during the daytime as well, when it's not so much an entertainment precinct. That's one of the problems -- getting a balance between two different roles. This is why a strong arts presence is important -- to provide reasons for visitors to come in the daytime as well. The idea of life-size bronze statues of all the famous people of the Cross placed in relevant positions would create a daytime (and night!) attraction that would be mentioned in the guidebooks and even be studied by school tour groups etc as many of the subjects are still studied. It would be a great history walk, and rapidly educate newcomers to the area. Once it's built, it's a permanent attraction with virtually no upkeep costs and free marketing thru the guidebooks. Or is this too simple and practical for the powers-that-be? And for the nighttime -- a neon and lightshow wonderland!

Anonymous said...

So what's wrong with a telco shop? the Cross at its peak had a mix of shops. I now see 17 empty shops in Darlo Rd. Isn't that entertaining?

And guess what? if you love music just visit the only record shop in the Cross it just closed down.

No longer any live music and no recorded music.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of your comments re trying to get more 'real' businesses back into the Cross...it is starting to become a graveyard for retailers.

As for the single brothel, there are actually 4 strip clubs operating as brothels in the Darlinghurst Rd strip. As a resident in this strip, I can tell you that they have absolutely no respect for the residents who live here. I would be happy to co-exist if these businesses would abide by council regulations on noise and operating hours but if they won't - bring it on !!

They don't seem to be struggling to survive at 3.00 a.m. most mornings. These businesses have survived and will survive if the police and council allow them to trade in a way that means that they rule the Strip.

BTW - with all due respect...saying you love the Cross is all fine and dandy when you live in Elizabeth Bay.