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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 CMC releases ‘snapshot’ review of Queensland’s Prostitution Act — 29.06.2011
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 CMC releases ‘snapshot’ review of Queensland’s Prostitution Act — 29.06.2011
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 CMC releases ‘snapshot’ review of Queensland’s Prostitution Act — 29.06.2011

CMC releases ‘snapshot’ review of Queensland’s Prostitution Act — 29.06.2011

Queensland’s legal prostitution industry has recorded limited growth in the past five years, according to a Crime and Misconduct Commission review of the Prostitution Act 1999.

Deputy Director Research, Dr Rebecca Denning, says an updated picture of the current environment, tabled in state parliament today, shows the number of licensed brothels remained steady over that time, at 23 to 25, with minimal impact on the community.

Dr Denning said it was clear the Prostitution Act 1999 effectively regulated the licensed brothel sector, which continues to provide a safe and healthy environment for sex workers and a viable alternative to illegal activity.

‘The picture of prostitution in Queensland has changed dramatically since the late 1980s when the Fitzgerald Inquiry revealed entrenched organised crime and corruption in the illegal prostitution industry,’ Dr Denning said.

‘Today, we have no evidence to suggest corruption or organised crime has infiltrated licensed brothels and this is to the credit of participants in the legal industry and the bodies responsible for its strict regulation.

‘While it’s widely accepted illegal prostitution will never be eliminated, the illegal sector in Queensland is smaller than in other states. Ultimately, the objective of regulation is to shift the balance between the legal and illegal sectors so that illegal activity diminishes.’

Prostitution laws are different in every state. In Queensland, licensed brothels are regulated under the Prostitution Act 1999 with oversight by the Prostitution Licensing Authority and the Queensland Police Service. Sole operators also form part of Queensland’s legal prostitution industry but are not regulated by the Act.

Dr Denning said it was not possible to quantify the size of Queensland’s illegal prostitution industry aside from an expectation that it was larger than the legal sector.

Since the CMC’s last review in 2004, which raised ‘a high concern’ about street prostitution, she said it was positive that these offences had declined from a peak of around 800 to a low of just 60 per year.

Another new trend identified by the current review (in both the legal and illegal sectors), involves growth in the number of migrant sex workers and the emergence of specialist licensed brothels staffed only by Asian sex workers. The trend is not unique to Queensland and the review found no evidence of sex trafficking or debt bondage in licensed brothels.

The CMC’s review entitled ‘Regulating Prostitution: a follow up review of the Prostitution Act 1999’ calls on the government to action two previous recommendations, which although supported are yet to be fully implemented.

They relate to the establishment of an inter-agency Ministerial Advisory Committee to address issues facing Queensland’s prostitution industry, and a tightening of the legislation linked to advertising to prevent illegal operators masquerading as legal enterprises.

Read the report in full: Regulating prostitution: a follow-up review of the Prostitution Act 1999 (PDF, 815 KB).


For further information contact:

Shelley Thomas, Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
Tel:  3360 6344     Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax: 3360 6235

Leanne Hardyman, Media Adviser
E: [email protected]
Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax:  3360 6235

Last updated: 19 November 2012

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