Australian state of Victoria set to decriminalise sex work
|30th June 2021
See article from theguardian.com
The government of the Australian state of Victorian will move to decriminalise sex work and regulate the sex industry through standard business industry laws following a review that heard the current system left many unprotected.
The review was
conducted by the Reason party leader, Fiona Patten, in 2020 and is currently before the state government. The government is expected to release the report and table proposed legislation by the end of the year. The change would see Victoria join the
Northern Territory and New South Wales as jurisdictions that have decriminalised sex work. The consumer affairs minister, Melissa Horne, said decriminalisation was the best option to make sex workers safer and to reduce the stigma and fear of criminal
repercussions. She said:
Sex work is a legitimate form of work and should be regulated through standard business laws, like all other industries in the state. Decriminalising sex work in Victoria will ensure it's safe work
203 a basic human right that everyone deserves. We're working towards this as a priority and will have more to say in due course.
Victoria currently has a licensing system for sex work that is regulated by the police. It requires
service providers who operate a brothel or an escort agency and sex workers who operate independently to apply for a licence and be registered through the department of consumer affairs. Sex workers who work at a brothel do not have to register. The
move is based upon the realisation that when rules prove too restrictive, and sex workers end up working outside of the rules, then the sex workers are endangered as they are unable to call for help from the police lest they be arrested themselves.
Australia's Northern Territory Parliament votes to legalise sex work
||27th November 2019 |
See article from nswp.org
Australia's Northern Territory Parliament has voted to decriminalise sex work through the Sex Industry Bill 2019 . The Bill decriminalises brothels, soliciting and indoor sex work, and gives sex workers access to workplace health and safety protections
already extended to other workers in the state.
CEO of Scarlet Alliance, Jules Kim said :
This is a momentous day for all sex workers and sets a positive example that sex workers are valued members of the community,
deserving of rights and protections. We applaud the NT Government for listening to sex workers and the evidence in fully decriminalising sex work in the NT. Sex work is work and it is fantastic that it is finally being recognised as such. We hope that
these critical reforms will demonstrate the importance of best practice partnerships between sex workers and government and lead to similar campaigns for the decriminalisation of sex work in other states and territories throughout Australia.
Another bill has been introduced into the South Australia's Upper House to legalise prostitution
9th September 2015 |
See article from abc.net.au
Another attempt is being made tto decriminalise sex work in South Australia. A bill has been introduced and is making its way through State Parliament.
Labor MP Steph Key is in charge of the bill's drafting and has introduced similar legislation
several times in the past, but ultimately without success.
In a strategic move, the bill is this time being introduced in the Upper House so its opponents are confronted sooner than later.
A booming industry appreciated by both sides and with no need for anybody to get jailed
||21st March 2014 |
Thanks to Chris
High demand in Canberra's fly-in fly-out sex industry proves the Australian territory's prostitution laws should not be tampered with.
That is the message from Australia's most experienced brothel madam, Mary-Anne Kenworthy, who will open a new
branch of her popular Langtrees brothel next week in Mitchell.
The 30-year industry veteran praised the ACT's laws on prostitution but called for better enforcement of health and safety regulations and further assistance for women to leave sex
She said demand continued to outstrip supply in the local sex industry, which resulted in as many as 20 women flying to Canberra each week to provide sexual services.
The new Mitchell brothel will feature seven luxury theme rooms,
including Arabian Nights and Fantasia decor, as well as a cocktail bar and AAA service . There will be six women available on weeknights and as many as 12 at the weekend.
I work in Perth with probably about 65 ladies a week, and 80 per
cent of those are fly-in, fly-out, Ms Kenworthy said. We'll have a lot of our Perth clientele who come to Canberra to work with government come and see us. I understand business is a lot more quiet when Parliament is not sitting.
Promising a complete guide to the sex industry, Ms Kenworthy called on parliamentarians to visit local brothels before travelling to Europe or Asia.
||28th May 2013 |
Laura Parker interviews Grace Bellavue, the closest thing Australia has to a celebrity sex worker.
article from newstatesman.com
Another attempt to legalise sex work in South Australia
March 2013 |
See article from theaustralian.com.au
Another bid will be made to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia. Labor MP Steph Key will introduce new laws to parliament next week to decriminalise all forms of sex work.
The new bill will require owners of brothels to register their
business with consumer and business services to allow for more regulatory controls. Ms Key said sex workers would be required to go through the same planning approvals as other businesses.
With MPs to be given a conscience vote, she believes the
legislation will pass this time after her previous attempt in November last year was rejected.
But Family First MP Dennis Hood said the legislation was being brought back to parliament just 12 sitting days after it was voted down. Hood claimed it
would be a waste of time to have another debate on the issue.
Attempt to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia fails (Oops, not South Africa)
||27th November 2012 |
See article from
A second bill to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia has been withdrawn from state parliament.
Status of Women Minister Gail Gago introduced the private members' bill in the upper house around the same time Labor backbencher Steph Key
introduced an identical bill in the lower house.
Ms Gago says there is little point in proceeding with her bill after the lower house bill was narrowly defeated on a conscience vote earlier this month.
Both proposals sought to decriminalise
most forms of prostitution including brothels and escort services while retaining soliciting as an offence in some circumstances.
Law to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia defeated by 1 vote
||15th November 2012 |
See article from theaustralian.com.au
Laws to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia have been defeated by one vote in State Parliament.
But the absence of eight MPs from the chamber at the time has prompted calls for the vote to be taken again and changes to the parliamentary
system to give MPs more notice of conscience votes.
Labor MP Steph Key's Private Member's Bill would have decriminalised all forms of prostitution, including at home, in brothels, escort services and some street work, but retained soliciting as an
offence where it occurred in the presence of other people.
But in a vote in Parliament's Lower House yesterday the proposed laws were defeated 20 votes to 19. 8 MPs were missing from the chamber, including two who were locked out after they failed
to get there in time.
Ms Key said she would seek advice on whether she could recommit the legislation to another vote at a later date when all or more MPs were present. She said:
There were a couple of people
that were caught outside for some reason and they were going to be supporting the Bill. And there were a number of people that were paired (out of the chamber) today that support the Bill. So people are saying this isn't a real indication (of the level
of support for the laws).
Australian motel sued after turfing out sex worker
||9th August 2012 |
See article from
An appeals court in Queensland has ruled that hotel and motel owners do not have the right to turn away escorts because of their profession.
The working girl who filed the lawsuit and who goes by the name GK sued a hotel who turned her away
in 2010 after discovering his profession. Originally a local court ruled that the hotel did nothing wrong, but an appeals court has now overturned that ruling.
The incident occurred at the 3.5-star Drovers Rest Motel after GK had stayed at Drovers
Rest Motel 17 times over a two year period. Hotel officials turned her away after discovering that she was a sex worker.
Unfortunately for the hotel, Australia has legalized escort services and sex workers can not be discriminated against because
of their job. By turning away GK the motel according to the appeals court acted in a discriminatory manner based on her profession.
Sydney brothel wins appeal to double its size to 40 bedrooms
June 2012 |
Sydney's Stiletto brothel has won an appeal for permission to expand and become Australia's largest.
Plans to double the number of rooms to 40 were refused last year by the city council. But the owners won an appeal to the Land and
Environment Court this week, with Commissioner Susan O'Neill ruling the Aus$12 million ($12.2 million) development, including a wing for group bookings, should go ahead. O'Neill said:
The issue of a moral objection to
the nature of the activities of a sex premises were raised by some of the public submissions and resident objectors.
As a sex premises is a legal land use and permissible... with consent, moral objections to the proposal are not
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.
|18th November |
Western Australia introduces legislation to ban brothels from suburbs
7th November 2011. See
Western Australia Attorney General Christian Porter said that under the new Prostitution Bill 2011, brothels would be banned from suburban areas.
Limited prostitution in non-suburban residential areas would be licensed and monitored.
Government will also create an exit fund for prostitutes seeking to leave the industry.
Attorney General Christian Porter said the Bill had been carefully developed after the release of a draft for community consultation earlier this year.
Prostitution is a controversial issue for any Government to address. Overwhelmingly though, ordinary West Australians do not want prostitution businesses of any size near their homes, in their residential
suburbs or near their children's school.
Update: A Dangerous Step Backwards for Health Promotion
18th November 2011.See article from sexparty.org.au
The Australian Sex Party has called the WA Prostitution Bill a dangerous step backwards in health promotion. The 2011 Bill, introduced into WA Parliament by Attorney General Christian Porter last week, was developed without proper consultation
with sex workers or sex worker organisations, and acts in direct opposition to the health safety, and best interests of sex workers.
Sex Party Candidate Zahra Stardust says This Bill will severely increase sex workers'
likelihood of harassment, vilification and imprisonment and decrease their access to health and support services .
The Bill bans sex work in residential or suburban areas and prohibits escort agencies, forcing sex workers into
brothels. The Bill then requires sex workers to disclose their legal names in the workplace, meaning that sex workers are singled out for surveillance, restricting their opportunities for employment and further education and introducing bias in custody
cases. The WA Bill criminalises the clients of sex workers, despite international evidence that this has severe consequences on the safety of sex workers themselves. The Bill criminalises all street-based sex workers, despite no evidence that they cause
adverse societal impact.
The Bill increases police power, despite the finding of the Woods Royal Commission that systemic corruption and misuse of personal information is rife when police act as sex industry regulators. Ms
Stardust says, Police powers to issue move-on notices, stop, detain and search anyone on suspicion that they have breached the law, and to order invasive cavity searches of sex workers, mean that sex workers will be unlikely to seek police assistance
in the event of a crime.
She continues, The Bill will be disastrous for sex workers occupational health and safety and industrial rights, as an unlicensed sex worker under the Bill is expressly excluded from accessing
Workers' Compensation. The Bill also prohibits advertising for any staff relating to sex work services, preventing sex workers from advertising for drivers, receptionists or security. This will clearly present obstacles to sex workers' health, safety and
access to support.'
Further, the Bill criminalises all migrant sex workers, providing that a licence can only be issued to an Australian citizen or permanent resident. This means that sex workers on student or temporary visas are
immediately rendered illegal, subject to heavy penalties, experience reduced access to health services, are denied access to peer education programs and are increasingly marginalised. The Bill introduces heavy penalties (up to 3 years imprisonment) and
fines (up to $50,000) for non-compliance.
Low rates of STIs and HIV among sex workers illustrate that sex workers are highly aware of safer sex practices and are skilled at negotiating and managing risks. The recent Law and Sexual
Health (LASH) study in Western Australia by the Kirby Institute states that health promotion for the sex industry is much easier when the target group is not covert and is working without the daily fear of a criminal prosecution. Similarly, the World
Health Organisation acknowledges that 'Legislation criminalising prostitution-related activities has frequently been identified as a barrier to the promotion of safer sex practices'.'
|2nd June |
South Australian MP to propose bill to decriminalise all forms of prostitution
See article from
A South Australian Labor MP has launched another bid to decriminalise prostitution, the latest in a handful of attempts to reform sex worker laws over the past 30 years.
Steph Key will later this year introduce a bill to decriminalise all forms of
prostitution, including home or brothel-based sex work, escort services and street work.
It will also ban minors from being involved in the industry and will prevent brothels being established within 200 metres of schools, any centres for children
and places of worship. It seems to be an appropriate time to put the reform of our sex industry in SA back on the legislative agenda, Ms Key said. She said there had been five attempts to introduce reforms over the past three decades, the last
being voted down in 2001.
But Christian nutters of FamilyVoice Australia said there had actually been six attempts to decriminalise brothels since 1979, with each attempt failing once MPs realised the implications of the changes. Steph Key's
latest attempt to decriminalise brothels is worse than any of the previous six, FamilyVoice researcher Ros Phillips said: One of its disastrous features would allow three prostitutes to operate a brothel next to suburban homes without any controls
by government or police.
Supporting Ms Key's bill, about 50 sex workers and their supporters rallied on the steps of parliament house in Adelaide on Thursday and presented the MP with a 2000-signature petition backing law reform.
Industry Network manager Ari Reid said sex workers in South Australia were still treated like second-class citizens: Decriminalisation isn't about putting a brothel on every corner. It's about providing basic workplace rights and protection for
hard-working South Australians.
|24th January |
Legalized sex work in Victoria
See article from mysexprofessor.com
|21st January |
Western Australia plan to force brothels into industrial areas
article from inmycommunity.com.au
Legislative Assembly Member Christian Porter is confident the drafted prostitution reforms will be able to completely eradicate prostitution in Western Australia suburbs.
The reforms, which Porter expects to go back before Parliament in the first
half of the year, would see brothels banned from all residential areas and be only allowed to operate within industrial zones.
Under the reform, police would be given more power to shut down brothels operating illegally within suburban areas.
Porter said he was hopeful the reform would reduce the amount of customers to brothels:
One part of the legislation is that, where there is an unlawful brothel, we would target not only the prostitutes who
are unlawfully operating and the owners who are unlawfully operating, but we would also target customers with criminal penalty infringement notices for first offences and then prosecutions after that, so we're targeting all of them.
However, Porter said regardless of what measures were taken, prostitution could not be eradicated completely, which was why reforms such as this were needed to be put into place.
Brothels in WA
have always existed and are likely to always exist despite our best efforts and the fact is that at the moment, prostitution is in effect illegal, but we still have brothels.
What we have to do is corral them into
areas where they cause the least amount of damage and destruction to average, law-abiding West Australians. We're going to mean business in the suburbs.
|3rd October |
Canberra to review prostitution laws
article from abc.net.au
Prostitution laws in the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) will be reviewed for the first time since being introduced 18 years ago.
The review has been partially prompted by a letter from a coroner who conducted the inquest into the death of
17-year-old Janine Cameron who was found dead in a Fyshwick brothel two years ago.
Attorney General Simon Corbell says the coroner's comments will form part of the terms of reference for the review: Whilst the coroner made no
adverse findings in relation to that matter, the coroner has drawn to my attention his view that it would be worthwhile for the Government to look at the issue of proof of age and to make sure people working in brothels were requiring a higher level of
proof age and identity before they commenced work.
Corbell says the Government remains committed to a regulated sex industry: It's a good thing. It keeps it out in the open. It keeps it public and transparent and it
stops black market and illegal activities occurring within the industry.
But there are I think areas for some potential improvement. Those include issues potentially around proof of age to make sure people who are
working in the industry are appropriately demonstrating that they are 18 years or older.
There may be other issues arising as well that stakeholders want to express a view on and this review will allow that to occur.
The Government will move a motion in the Legislative Assembly next month referring the Prostitution Act 1992 to a committee.
The Opposition has welcomed the move. Shadow attorney general Vicki Dunne said: There
have been issues raised as to whether or not individual sex workers should have registration, compliance inspections and the level of police activity around brothels in the ACT and what developments there may have been both interstate and overseas that
have moved on public discussion about the regulation of prostitution.
|20th June |
Western Australia to legalise brothels in commercial and industrial areas
Based on article from news.smh.com.au
Western Australia is set to legalise prostitution in a bid to improve health standards and keep brothels out of residential areas.
Hundreds of suburban brothels are expected to close when WA Attorney-General Christian Porter ends decades of turning a blind eye
and starts regulating the sex industry next year.
Prostitution is illegal in WA but police rarely lay charges unless they are related to underage sex or unsafe practices.
After nearly two years in power Porter says he is working to
release a paper for public comment by the end of the year and introduce legislation into parliament in 2011.
Under the new legislation, brothels will be licensed and confined to designated commercial and industrial areas, and police will be given
powers to investigate and forcibly close those which fail to comply.
Sex businesses will need to follow health and safety standards to obtain and maintain their licences. Individual sex workers will need to register with a central agency and will
undergo compulsory health and blood checks. They may also be required to carry ID cards.
Porter said suburban operators would be given a grace period from next year to either close or move to a licensed area. Applications for brothels would first
be put to local councils and then assessed by state regulators.
WA brothel madams welcomed the move over the weekend but feared the bid to register individual prostitutes would drive some underground. While most agreed the new regulations would
improve health and safety in the industry, they said some sex workers would be loathe to have their personal records on file.
|25th March |
Australian Archbishop doesn't know the meaning of forgiveness and tolerance
Perhaps the bishop should contemplate how the denial of sex screws men up, he has plenty of perverted examples to consider amongst his fellow clergy
Banning brothels in residential areas would be a welcome first step to curbing prostitution, though laws need to go further by making it illegal to pay for sex, Perth's Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey says.
He supports the so-called Swedish
model, which makes buying sex and brothel ownership illegal, rather than prostitution itself.
Attorney-General Christian Porter is working towards delivering the Government's election promise to ban prostitution outside designated zones but has
rejected calls from some Not So Liberal backbenchers to adopt the Swedish model on the basis that he did not support a system which punished only the men who bought sex. He was prepared to consider introducing tougher penalties for men caught buying
sexual services outside designated areas.
Archbishop Hickey said men had to be held responsible for what was effectively a form of abuse against women: (Under the Swedish system), at least men will get a different message than the one they are
getting at the moment, which is almost encouragement.
|19th September |
Decriminalising prostitution improves health but licensing is only partial decriminalisation
Based on article from
See also Annual Surveillance Reports from
A sexual health expert is calling for the decriminalisation of prostitution across Australia, saying it will help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Basil Donovan from the National Centre in HIV is using a study of sex workers
in New South Wales, where prostitution has been decriminalised, to back his call.
The study shows that sex workers in that state have lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases than their counterparts in other areas of Australia.
worker Sharon said: When I came to Sydney I couldn't believe the difference in attitude, you know, workers don't have to worry about getting a criminal record or worrying about police knocking down the door.
I found that working in New South
Wales has been more conducive to accessing health services and taking control of my health than when I was in Perth worried about, you know, the police or when I was in Victoria feeling forced and insulted and degraded and invaded by having to go for
Basil Donovan said: In Sydney you are looking at a chlamydia prevalence that means how many women are infected in any one day are one to two per cent in Sydney sex workers.
The general population of
prevalence for women of the same age is four to five per cent. Count the school girls is about one to two per cent or slightly higher. The prevalence of gonorrhoea in sex workers in Sydney is about as close as you can get to zero.
findings of the study are being presented at the Australasian Sexual Health Congress presently being held in Perth. Professor Donovan says the results in New South Wales are in contrast to other states where prostitution is either illegal or regulated.
Professor Donovan says the requirement, in Queensland and Victoria, for brothels to be licensed has meant much of the industry has stayed underground. The substantial part of the industry is effectively illegal cause it's not licensed. It's very
difficult to run health promotion programs and to access those women to ensure that they are seeing doctors.
Janelle Fawkes from Scarlet Alliance which represents Australian sex workers backs the findings. She says the key to containing sexual
diseases in the sex industry is education and ensuring workers are motivated to get medical treatment. She says the use of 'licenses' makes the situation worse: In licensing framework model you end up with a large percentage of the industry that is
operating outside of the legal framework, therefore it doesn't have the same levels of access to HIV prevention, education, outreach by a sex worker organisation, being covered by the states workplace conditions for occupational health and safety et
|12th August |
Liberal party against men satisfying their sexual pleasures
Based on article from news.com.au
Western Australia's Opposition Leader Colin Barnett said hw would scrap laws legalising brothels. He said he would not allow brothels to spread across suburbs. He intended to regulate the industry by licensing brothels in designated areas.
elected, a Liberal government will repeal the Prostitution Amendment Bill 2007, B arnett said: A Liberal government will not allow the spreading of brothels throughout the suburbs and towns of WA.'
Barnett and Opposition police
spokesman Rob Johnson have been calling for changes to WA's new prostitution laws for months.
Johnson said only a few designated areas would be allowed in WA: W e can't afford mini-brothels operating in residential areas where you have men
coming and going all the time to satisfy their sexual pleasures. Legalising brothels hasn't worked in the east. Since legalising brothels, there has been a proliferation of legal and illegal brothels.
|7th April |
Western Australia legalisation of brothels passed in parliament
See full article from
The Western Australia (WA) parliament has passed a controversial bill which will decriminalise brothels and give prostitutes basic working rights, including superannuation and workers compensation.
The bill will see the regulation of brothels and
escort agencies in WA, where prostitution is legal but running a brothel is not. Nor is living off the earnings of prostitution.
WA's Liberal Opposition opposed the legislation but it passed with the support of independent MP Shelley Archer in
exchange for the promise of drug, alcohol and sex education programs for Aboriginal children in the northern Kimberley region.
|17th March |
Legalisation of prostitution in Western Australia looks likely
full article from ABC
Independent MP Shelley Archer has decided to support Western Australia's State Government's Prostitution Bill, assuring it will be passed by Parliament.
The legislation attempts to regulate the sex industry by requiring brothels to be licensed
and allowing workers to receive standard workplace conditions such as worker's compensation.
Ms Archer says has told the Legislative Council she decided to support the Bill because she believes new laws are needed to help prevent the sexual
exploitation of Aboriginal women and children.
A toxic trifecta of drugs, alcohol and pornography is fuelling a culture of violence against women and children. They are being bashed, raped, disabled and killed, their lives are marked by
desperation and terror.
Given the reality of the situation this Bill at least provides some protection against exploitation of the women involved and some capacity for communities to control the operation of brothels.