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Scarlet Alliance Media Release "Sex workers blow the whistle on Liberals political football" 22 Dec 2010

Scarlet Alliance provided a written submission to Chris Hartchers office in September, 2010 providing evidence of the failure of licensing models and the excessive expense to tax payers. The opposition is going to election with a campaign based on lies, a smokescreen to cover up the failure to implement regulation of the sex industry in NSW by some councils.

“The licensing model proposed by Hartcher has cost $6.8 million since its introduction in Queensland and only resulted in 25 licensed brothels,” Janelle Fawkes, CEO, Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association said today. "The model abject failure leaving the majority of the Queensland sex industry operating illegally."

  • It is inherently expensive and requires long term commitment by government to resource the Licensing Authority. In 2002 approximately 80% of the Prostitution Licensing Authority (PLA) income were provided by Government grants. In 2006 approximately 45% of the Prostitution Licensing Authority was still carried by Government grants.
  • Requires a high level administration and compliance function. This function is high as the model is complex and does not promote compliance.
  • Promotes the development of a two tier sex industry; the legal sector or those that can comply and the illegal sector made up of the majority who are unable to meet the excessive conditions of compliance. By 2005 only 15 brothels had been approved.
  • Requires a high level police involvement in regulation of the industry maximising corruption risk. Note: the NSW model of regulation was decriminalised in response to high levels of Police corruption and is recognised to have reduced corruption.
  • Has required the development of a Police Prostitution Enforcement Taskforce (PET-F). In 2005, 74% of complaints received by the PLA were referred to PET-F for response. Scarlet Alliance has consistently received complaints from sex workers about police treatment.
  • Is extremely costly to the license applicant and creates extreme barriers to compliance. In 2001-2 the average time to process a brothel license application was 231 days. A study of why potential applicants did not apply for a license showed because of the information required, privacy invasion and fees too expensive as the top three reasons to not apply.