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"Sex workers want anti-discrimination laws" AAP 3 June 07

SEX workers gathered under red umbrellas at the Sydney Opera House today but they were demanding a different form of cover - new anti-discrimination legislation.

The symbolic protest by about 60 prostitutes, massage parlour workers and supporters marked the eleventh anniversary of the decriminalisation in NSW of the world's oldest profession.

The industry now wants the NSW government to introduce laws to protect individual workers and businesses against discrimination.

"NSW is lagging behind in providing anti-discrimination protection for sex workers at a time when we have a decriminalisation industry,'' Australian Sex Workers Association manager Janelle Fawkes said.

"The next step is to provide anti-discrimination legislation - there's an urgent need.''

At present, Queensland and the ACT are the only states with anti-discrimination laws, Ms Fawkes said.

She said that while workers had been legitimate in the eyes of the law for more than a decade, they were still discriminated against daily.

Newspapers charge sex workers more than other advertisers and councils often knock back development applications on moral rather than planning grounds, she argued.

The association is also concerned that, while they say Australia led the world in decriminalising sex work, there were signs some of those gains could soon be wound back.

"The agenda ... (includes) councils being provided with greater powers to close down suspected sex industry businesses with less proof,'' Ms Fawkes said.

But although unhappy with the government's stance, Ms Fawkes said the public's reaction to today's protest was heartening.

"We got very good reactions from the crowd with no objections,'' she said.

"That really questions this idea that the general community are against sex workers or the sex industry.'',23599,21841945-1702,00.html

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The Australian,20867,21841945-1702,00.html

Brisbane Times

The Age, Victoria, Australia

Adelaide Advertiser, Australia,22606,21841945-5005962,00.html

Sunday Times, Perth, Australia,21598,21841945-5005361,00.html

The West Australian,

Courier Mail, Brisbane, Australia,,21841945-29277,00.html

Herald Sun, Australia,21985,21841945-5005961,00.html

Daily Telegraph, Sydney, Australia,,21841945-5001028,00.html

Brisbane Times, Australia

Sydney Morning Herald,

Central Midlands & Coastal Advocate, Australia

Bendigo Advertiser, Australia =

Kalgoorlie Golden Mail, Australia =

Milton Ulladulla Times, Australia =

Bay Post/Moruya Examiner, Australia

Blayney Chronicle, Australia

The Wimmera Mail Times

Aratat Advertiser, Australia =