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Scarlet Alliance slams the latest version of the Prostitution Control Bill 2003 - May 03

This Bill is an insult to the sex workers and community groups who put submissions into the Police Minister. “The cake is the same underneath. It’s only the icing that’s changed. If you look past the 100’s and 1000’s you’ll find mouldy spounge. Licensing has been tried in Queensland and in Victoria and both states are left with a foul taste in their mouths.” Janelle Fawkes, President, Scarlet Alliance

National Body of Sex Worker Organizations slams the latest version of the Prostitution Control Bill 2003. This Bill is an insult to the sex workers and community groups who put submissions into the Police Minister.

These changes are not enough.

“The cake is the same underneath. It’s only the icing that’s changed. If you look past the 100s and 1000s you’ll find the mouldy sponge. Licensing has been tried in Queensland and in Victoria and both states are left with a foul taste in their mouths.” Janelle Fawkes, President, Scarlet Alliance.

The draft Bill does not reflect the submissions received by Michelle Roberts. Scarlet Alliance received hundreds of copies of submissions, some of which addressed each of the 220 sections of the Bill. The comprehensive community comment has been ignored, and instead the Government is intending to introduce a slapped together set of powers for police, authorized persons, and the board. What’s left out of the Bill are safe working environments and access to OH&S for sex workers.

If decriminalized, as with other businesses, the Sex Industry would be regulated by DOCEP. “We do not need a sex industry specific board and Police must not play a role in regulating the sex industry.” Janelle Fawkes concluded today.

Under this draft: As is the case in Queensland and Victoria this licensing model will result in a two tiered system. The majority of brothels will operate illegally and the sex workers employed in those brothels will be susceptible to exploitation, violence and corruption. In both states there are not enough jobs to go around in legal brothels so workers have no choice but to work illegally. The Gallop Governments’ answer is to fine them $6000. Illegal workers won’t go to health services and they won’t report crimes!

Private sex workers will be forced to work alone from their own home without the right to protect themselves.

  • If they work together for safety they face 1 year imprisonment.

  • If they employ a receptionist they face 1 year imprisonment. Private workers have to tell the board within 7 days if they have an STI. Police can still pretend to be clients and entrap a worker into offering a service.