Police Minister Judy Spence is rushing through major changes to Queensland sex industry laws only weeks before the pending release of a Crime and Misconduct Commission report. In her second reading speech on the 28th of March, Minister Spence implied that the proposed Bill reflects recommendations from the CMC 2004 evaluation of the Prostitution Act 1999. This is not true.
- opens up a new area of sex industry regulation over individual private sex workers, an area NOT recommended by the 2004 CMC evaluation.
- empowers the Prostitution Licensing Authority to regulate advertising for individual private sex workers.
- increases penalties for advertising breaches to 70 points ($5250). Individual private sex workers will face the same penalty as brothels.
“Sex workers, advocates and community organisations have participated in the evaluation process since early 2003, yet it seems Judy Spence is happy to make sweeping changes to the sex industry laws without the benefit of the final report,” Janelle Fawkes, Manager of Scarlet Alliance, said today.
“The issue of private sex worker regulation was central to the CMC inquiry in 2005, and representatives from the PLA, the Queensland Police Service, SQWISI, SSPAN, individual sex workers and Scarlet Alliance all expressed their concerns over proposals pushed by brothel owners who consider private workers as competition.”
“Judy Spence seems more interested in ensuring “the legal industry’s continued viability” than the health and safety of individual sex workers. I am concerned about what agenda could drive new sex industry legislation to be introduced before the Minister can be informed by the Governments own consultation through the CMC.”
“The increase in advertising fines is unjustified, and is another example of a change that was NOT recommended by the CMC,” Janelle Fawkes commented today. “There is no good reason for individual sex workers to face such hefty fines.”
For media comment or interview call
The Australian Sex Worker Association
02 9326 9455 or 0411 985 135
05 April 2006