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Pre-emptive Strike Against Sex Workers: Spence Avoids CMC Report and Pushes Ahead With Registration Of Private Sex Workers

Judy Spence has jumped the gun on the CMC by releasing the Prostitution Act 2006 in advance of the long awaited CMC final report. The final report is rumoured to be in opposition to individual private sex worker registration – a move which is made possible by the Prostitution Amendment Act 2006. Clearly Spence had no intention of respecting the CMC processes – unless they agreed with her arguments Sex Worker Registration: Failed in other States, A Human Rights Disaster

“Scarlet Alliance vehemently opposes all forms of individual sex worker registration. As we expressed in our many submissions to the CMC, individual sex worker registration is a human rights aberration in the states where it operates (ACT, Vic and NT), and has led not only to discrimination and vilification, but also to an expensive regime relating to compliance and, in Victoria, a growth in sex workers engaging in illegal practises. We question the agenda behind such an approach, for it clearly contradicts international health standards including the Ottowa Charter. Registration is anathema to the protection of sex worker rights, for it forces individuals to hand their information to a third party with no knowledge of how that information will be used in the future.”
Janelle Fawkes, Manager, Scarlet Alliance, The Australian Sex Workers Association


What happened to the process? Laws to be passed for sex worker registration system before CMC recommendations made.

“SSPAN members, along with other sex industry representatives, spent days at the CMC escort hearing (Sept 2005) and made further submission to the CMC Interim Report (Jan 2006) where we opposed registration of sex workers, only to see the Police Minister tabling legislation that is providing scope for a registration system (s93(4)[b] and 139A(2)[b]). Only people who see sex workers as a problem to be solved (regulators) or a way to make money (some brothel owners) think that registration is a good idea. Anyone who really cares about sex workers agrees that it is better, in our current society, not to restrict someone’s future by placing an official label like ‘sex worker’ on them. If the government is serious about supporting ‘exit strategies’ they should oppose registration.”
Candi Forrest, SSPAN, (Sexual Service Providers Advocacy Network)


Spence Misrepresents Bill: CMC Process Ignored

“In her second reading speech of the Prostitution Amendment Bill 2006 on the 28th of March, Minister Spence implied that the proposed Bill reflects recommendations from an earlier Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) evaluation (the evaluation of the Prostitution Act in 2004). But QuAC is concerned that this statement misrepresents the conclusions of the CMC's 2004 report. In particular, the Bill:
  • opens up a new area of sex industry regulation over individual private sex workers - an area NOT recommended by the CMC evaluation in 2004; and
  • provides that individual private sex workers will face the same penalty for advertising breaches as brothels (up to $5250) - this was NOT recommended by the CMC evaluation in 2004.

The issue of private sex worker regulation was central to the 2005 CMC inquiry on escort and outcall prostitution services which has yet to be finalised. QuAC calls on the Queensland Government to withdraw the Prostitution Amendment Bill 2006 pending the outcome of the CMC's inquiry and to commit to full public consultation on any proposed Bill that may result from its findings.”
Paul R Martin, General Manager, QuAC (Queensland Aids Council)