A NEW and seemingly popular strip club named the Fur Trappers Saloon Bar in the tiny mining outpost of Emerald is causing all kinds of hubbub, but one academic reckons it is just what the town needs.
Central Queensland University sociologist Lindsay Greer said it was about time Emerald had some proper entertainment.
It is not likely to be a comment welcomed by Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire, who said a strip club had no place in his "small, conservative, Christian, country town".
Gregory MP Vaughan Johnson too said this strip club was the "degradation of the female body at its worst", although he voted to extend adult entertainment permits when a bill came before Parliament in November last year.
Mr Greer said it was a myth that small towns were too conservative or Christian for a strip club, "particularly in regional Australia".
"I don't know Emerald itself, but I know country football teams," Mr Greer said.
"They often have entertainment nights.
"These type of things have been going on forever."
A lack of entertainment, he said, often led to a "reverse fly-in, fly-out" effect, whereby locals dash off to major centres to have the fun not provided at home.
"(Emerald) is being presented as a fairly conservative location and I would suggest that in more recent times, it has become far more diversified."
It could also encourage more investment in the town, he said.
Meanwhile the management of Fur Trappers Saloon Bar and The Star Hotel say the club's detractors are the minority.
Owner Andrew Ludlow said via Facebook his venue had more than 2000 customers in the eight days after it opened.
On the criticism, he said, "the last thing the women of Central Queensland need is another man telling them what they can and can't do with their bodies".
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