THE infamous red light district in the West Australian gold mining town of Kalgoorlie has only one brothel left after the second last business closed its doors.
Arrangements are underway to turn the historic Red House into accommodation for mining workers.
That leaves Questa Casa, which has been operating for at least 115 years, as Hay Street’s last house of ill repute.
“With its world famous corrugated-iron ‘starting stalls’, Questa Casa is the last of the original brothels built during Kalgoorlie’s gold-rush era,” its website reads.
Kalgoorlie’s brothel strip was a major tourist drawcard for many years, and is even spruiked by the town’s visitor centre, which says the guided tour of Questa Casa “offers tourists the unique opportunity to experience life from a bygone era”.
Also known as The Pink House, it is possibly the world’s oldest working brothel, the visitor’s centre claims.
Brothels traded illegally under WA’s Criminal Code, but were allowed to exist under the state government’s unofficial “containment policy”.
Under that policy police turned a blind eye, provided the establishments were restricted to certain areas.
The recent inquest into the murder of Perth madam Shirley Finn shone a light on corruption, with brothels regularly paying kickbacks to police in exchange for not being raided.