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State by State Laws in Australia

Sex industry laws in Australia are determined by State and Territory Governments. ACT, WA, Tasmania, South Australia, NSW, Victoria and The Northern Territory are all either in the process of, or have recently had, sex work law reform. Qld has recently had legislative change. Federal laws criminalise 'trafficking' (with or without consent) and 'sex slavery' (regardless of sex workers' consent to such work conditions).


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  • Australian Capital Territory - Decriminalised by the ACT Prostutition Act 1992. CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW, COMMITTEE HAS REPORTED, CABINET YET TO RESPOND more...
  • New South Wales - Decriminalised since 1996. LICENSING REVIEW HAS REPORTED, CABINET YET TO RESPOND more...
  • Northern Territory - Licensed under the Northern Territory Prostitution Regulation Act, law reform anticipated in 2015 more...
  • Queensland -  Licensed by the Prostitution Act (Ammended 2001, 2006 & 2009) more...
  • South Australia LAW REFORM BILL WILL BE BEFORE PARLIAMENT IN EARLY 2015- Criminalised under the Summary Offences Act 1953 and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act (1935 - 1976) more...
  • Tasmania - LAWS REFORM STALLED Private legal, brothels criminalised under Sex Industry Offences Act 2005 more...
  • Victoria - NEW POLICE POWERS NOW IN PLACE Licensed under the  Sex Work Act 1994, Sex Work Regulations 2006, Sex Work (Fees) Regulations 2004 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 more...
  • Western Australia - LICENSING LAWS STALLED currently sex work is not illegal in NSW,  but brothel work or working in pairs is. more...
  • Federal Laws - THE MOST RECENT FEDERAL LAWS WERE PASSED IN 2012 Migration of sex workers is criminalised in the Criminal Code (Trafficking in Persons Amendment 2005 & Sexual Slavery Amendment 1999)more...

Link to database of HIV laws across Asia. The data base is run by Asia Catalyst.

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updated 16 Dec 2014