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"Report of the Brothels TaskForce" NSW Gov 01

The Brothels Task Force was established by the NSW Attorney General and the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning in January 2000. The Task Force was commissioned to monitor the regulation of brothels by local councils and to assess the success of occupational health and safety programs for sex workers, their clients and the public. The Disorderly Houses Amendment Act, 1995 abolished the common law offence of keeping a brothel, making brothels a legitimate commercial land use regulated through environmental planning instruments under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979. Councils were also given the power to take action in the Land and Environment Court to close a disorderly brothel in response to complaints from nearby residents or occupiers. The Task Force was asked to review the success of the legislative changes after five years of operation and assess the need for further reforms. The specific Terms of Reference of the Task Force were: 1) Application of planning controls to brothels a) identify the way in which councils have undertaken the role assigned to them by the Disorderly Houses Amendment Act 1995 b) assess whether the objectives of the Act are being achieved through the arrangements adopted by councils c) make recommendations for action by Government and/or councils to address deficiencies. 2) Evidentiary requirements a) assess the evidentiary requirements of the Land and Environment Court on councils regarding the prosecution and closure of brothels b) recommend action by Government to address deficiencies. 3) Occupational Health and Safety issues assess the success of programs provided by the NSW Health and WorkCover for sex workers, their clients and the public. The Task Force comprised representatives from The Cabinet Office, Attorney General’s Department, Department of Local Government, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, Ministry for Police, WorkCover NSW, NSW Health, Police Service, and the Local Government and Shires Associations.

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