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Bikini Car Wash Could Close Over Permits

Australia- A BIKINI car wash where staff pole dance and show erotic videos could close after a Victorian tribunal found it was operating unlawfully.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Kittens car wash in Bentleigh East was breaching its business permit by promoting its Kittens strip clubs.

The Warrigal Rd car wash has outraged many Bentleigh East locals since it opened in 2006.

But it was business as usual yesterday, with manager Angelo Dimozantos claiming the VCAT judgement had been misinterpreted, and that the car wash could remain open.

The VCAT order showed Kittens could remain open if they dropped the number of car wash staff from eight to two, removed promotional material and built a fence and carport by August 13, Mr Dimozantos said.

But Senior VCAT member Richard Horsfall last week found Kittens was operating unlawfully.

Mr Horsfall said using up to six “skimpily clad”girls and two males to wash cars essentially transformed the business into an erotic enterprise- which falls under a different business permit.

“I find that the whole activity constitutes an dominant and separate activity like a performance or a show to promote the Kittens Clubs,” Mr Horsfall said.

“The conduct of the girls shown by the evidence and the photos is the most prominent aspect of the operation and the impact on the public realm is shown by the strength of the public reaction.

“Accordingly I find that the conduct of the car wash as presented to the tribunal…is a separate and distinct use that is not ancillary to the permitted use as a car wash and requires a separate permit, and until that permit is granted is unlawful.”

Glen Eira City Council- who took the VCAT action against Kittens- today said they would send an enforcement team to the car wash to ensure it stops operating.

Councillor Kate Ashmor said Kittens could be fined for breaching the VCAT order.
Ms Ashmor said the VCAT decision was a major win for the council, and Kittens needed to comply with the order.

“So many people have been upset about this for a long time,” Ms Ashmore said.

“It’s a residential area, there’s a huge number of families here, and even a kids’ music studio next door and a judo club across the road.”

Mr Dimozantos said Glen Eira Council was “completely wrong” in their interpretation of the findings, and that he was considering taking legal action.

He said the car wash was a successful business, attracting up to 50 cars a day.

Customers pay between $10 and $35 per wash, according to car size.

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