Youth Justice (Boot Camp Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012

Political Lobbying

I am writing this submission for the Director of Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee who have been asked to report on the recent Youth Justice (Boot Camp Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 by the 22nd of November, 2012.

As a legal sex worker in Queensland, I am appalled by the proposed amendment to the Anti-discrimination Act 1991 in particular, hidden within the Youth Justice (Boot Camp Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.  This Amendment effectively targets the removal of the one piece of legislation within the Act that protects the civil liberties and human rights of sex workers.   In the state of Queensland, it is illegal to discriminate against ‘Lawful Sexual Activity’.

The proposed new Amendment to the Anti-Discrimination Act 2012 is therefore both illegal and discriminatory by all intents and purposes.   Supporting ‘legal’ discrimination is an oxymoron and against the United Nations ‘Universal Human Rights Constitution’.  The Prostitution Act 2000 made sex work legitimate work within Queensland and therefore legal sex workers are protected under the provision of ‘Lawful Sexual Activity’.  This new Bill is clearly singling out sex workers and does not make any reference to other business activities which may be conducted by other guests or patrons using various rented or leased accommodation to conduct their work.

This Bill  gives individual hoteliers/moteliers, body corporates and landlords the right to evict sex worker’s from their hotel rooms, apartments and homes on a whim, any time of the day or night, just because they either suspect or know someone is a sex worker and working.  This new law also extends to clients who will also be evicted if they get ‘caught’ bringing a consenting sex worker back to their hotel room, or place of residence.  This is blatant discrimination on a grand scale. It has all the elements of the former Joh Bjelkie-Petersen days most Australians want to forget.

This new Bill must be scrutinised in line with the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 which is now in effect.  The Attorney-General, Honorable Nicola Roxon, released a media statement on the 4th of January this year reminding us that all new laws must consider “… protection and promotion of human rights”.  Human Rights will be “…bought into sharper focus in Parliament this year with all new laws to be checked to see if they stack up against human rights obligations”.  The principles of freedom, respect, equality, dignity and a fair go, apply to everyone including sex workers.

Under the Commonwealth Of Australia Constitution Act says: COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 109 Inconsistency of laws When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.

We are witnessing Puritanical Moral Police with God Complexes cavorting with Renegade Rednecks in positions of power who collectively gang up to bully minority groups and manipulate the media who then use propaganda and scaremongering tactics to mislead the public in order to gleen political votes which ultimately ensures that their pockets are fully lined.  Enough to pay for a good curry at least!

This Amendment will severely affect sex workers in every aspect of their lives.  It will also negatively impact their partners, children, family, friends and their clients.  Sex workers will be forced onto the street at all hours of the day and night.  Accommodation will be refused as word is quickly spread from one hotel to another, one real estate agency to another, one data base to another.  Current law abiding citizens will now become criminals.   Stigma and marginalisation will increase to even more damaging levels and sex workers health and well-being will deteriorate.

As it is, the number of sex workers accessing community organisations like RESPECT Inc, Queensland’s Sex Worker Organisation, for support, is increasing.  Sex workers are already finding themselves out on the street in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere with no place to go.  These illegal evictions are occuring because no one is protecting our basic human rights.  Sex workers live with this ever-present threat to their health and safety on a daily basis.

Last year, my then partner and I were evicted from my leased apartment.  We were physically locked out of the underground carpark we had been using for the past 6 months.  The gate codes were changed and we were told we were not allowed to park there anymore.  The onsite manager began to harass my guests at first as they came through the door and up to my apartment.  Including a RESPECT Inc support worker doing Outreach with me.  He then informed my real estate agent and attempted to prove I was a sex worker by going through the local paper. He then rang me on my work phone and left text messages.  He then told everyone in the complex that I was a sex worker and I was subject to rude stares, hostile looks and general beligerance from my otherwise unsuspecting neighbours.

The real estate agent then issued me with a Breach of Tenancy stating that I were running an illegal escort agency and we were told our lease would not be renewed.  We were not refunded all of our bond even though the apartment was beautifully kept.  We were not given a reference and we were not assisted to find other accommodation with the same real estate agency.  I provided the onsite manager and the real estate agent with pamplets from RESPECT Inc, ADCQ and the Prostitution Licensing Association (PLA) in an attempt to educate them about sex work and the law but it made no difference.

We had not done anything wrong or illegal.  I would discreetly sex work while my partner was away working for up to two weeks at a time.  I would then cease work when he came home for a week.  We were polite and courteous to everyone in the complex.  We minded our own business.  We didn’t have loud late night parties and no complaints were made against me, by my neighbours or clients.

So when a high profile case like the recent Civil & Administrative Tribunal ruling between GK v Dovedeen Pty Ltd, Mrs Joan Hartley, ruled in favour of sex worker GK, all hell breaks loose!  We all felt a sense of hope that maybe we could trust the ADCQ and QCAT to get it right and apply existing laws to protect our civil and human rights.  Unfortunately, what we all witnessed was bigotry and corruption and widespread systemic discrimination at the highest level of government.  I agree with Janelle Fawkes of the Australian Sex Worker’s Association who states that “‘Systemic Predjudice’ is most definitely at the core of all anti-discrimination cases throughout Queensland”.  We are witnessing just how far up the hierarchy it has reached.

It is my shared belief that the Attorney-General, Mr Jarrod Bleijie is grossly abusing his political powers with other key political figures like Mr Campbell-Newman, and other Christian based groups and individuals, for political gain.  By interfering in this case he is perpetrating abuse against a specific vulnerable minority group and this is morally corrupt and unethical.  Mr Bleijie and his cronies should not be above the law.  He clearly has a bias and discriminatory agenda.  His actions are arguably enough to warrant a collective Anti-Discrimination complaint being made against him for further investigation.

Please seriously do something about what is going on under our noses.  There appears to be widespread discrimination against sex workers in general throughout Queensland and Australia.  Discrimination, that also violates the basic Human Rights of sex workers.  Lyon asserts that health outcomes of sex workers are directly affected by stigmatisation and marginalisation and that “It is described as the single biggest issue facing sex workers – even those who operate legally” (Lyon, 2011: 2.3.1, 45).  Pushing new laws through like this one, is an attempt to over-ride existing laws that have proven evidence that glows in the dark!  Even then, as we re-enter the Dark Ages, people who proclaim to see the light, are all blind.

There has to be a shift away from the pre-existing moralistic viewpoint, to one that supports a public health and human rights approach such as New Zealand and New South Wales.  It is apparent that there needs to be more constructive discussion and debate between sex workers, the government, lawmakers and about public opinion in Australia.  In Queensland, it was found that sex workers who were working legally (i.e.  service providers in licensed brothels, legal sole traders) had better mental health than those in illegal settings (Seib et al 2009).  Harcourt et al (2005) suggested that decriminalization seemed to provide the best outcomes for sex workers health and welfare and that this is a desirable outcome that affects the community as a whole.

By Jodine

© Copyright, 2012,  All Rights Reserved

This submission can be found here along with others.


 A Schloenhardt & Human Trafficking Working Group, Happy Birthday Brothels: Ten Years of Prostitution Regulation in Queensland, (2009).

Abel, G., Fitzgerald, L., & Brunton, C., (2007). The Impact of the Prostitution Law Reform Act on the Health and Safety Practices of Sex Workers: Report to the Prostitution Law Review Committee. Christchurch: Otago University

Abel, G., Fitzgerald, L., & Brunton, C., (2009). The impact of decriminalisation on the number of sex workers in New Zealand. Journal of Social Policy 38(3) 515-31, 526, 528.

Anti-People Trafficking Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) 2011. Trafficking in persons: The Australian Government response 1 July 2010–30 June 2011. Canberra: APTIDC.

Basil Donovan, C Harcourt, S Egger, C Fairley,  (2010), ‘Improving the Health of Sex Workers in NSW: Maintaining Success’, NSW Public Health Bulletin 21(3-4) 74–7.

Basil Donovan, C Harcourt, S Egger, L Watchirs Smith, K Schneider, JM Kaldor, MY Chen, CK Fairley, S Tabrizi, The Sex Industry in New South Wales: A Report to the NSW Government, Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2012, |

Bennachie, C. (2010).  Decriminalising Sex Work in New Zealand – What it means to sex workers.  Paper presented at the International AIDS Conference, Vienna, July 2010.

Christine Harcourt, S Egger, B Donovan (2005), ‘Sex Work and the Law’, Sexual Heath 2(3) 121–8.

Christine Harcourt, J O’Connor, S Egger, C Fairly, H Wand, M Chen, L Marshall, J Kaldor, B Donovan, (2010), ‘The Decriminalisation of Prostitution is Associated with Better Coverage of Health Promotion Programs for Sex Workers’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34:5 at 482.

Davis, S. and Shaffer, M. (1994), Prostitution in Canada: the invisible menace or the menace of invisibility?, Vancouver, Commercial Sex Information Service,

Donovan, Harcourt, Egger, Schneider, O’Connor, Marshall, Chen, and Fairley, The Sex Industry in Western Australia: A Report to the Western Australian Government, National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales. Sydney, 2010

Hubbard, P. (2004), ‘Cleansing the metropolis: sex work and the politics of zero tolerance’, Urban Studies, 41: 9, 1687–702

Lyon, W., (2011). Prohibitory Prostitution Laws and the Human Right to Health, Research Dissertation presented for partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of LLM in International Human Rights Law (Nottingham Trent University/HETAC), Law School, Griffith college, Dublin. pg 10

New Zealand Prostitutes Collective,

O’Connor, C., Berry, G., Rohrsheim, R. and Donovan, B. (1996), ‘Sexual health and use of condoms among local and international sex workers in Sydney’, Genitourinary Medicine, 72: 1, 47–51.

Penny Crofts, ‘Brothels and Disorderly Acts’, Public Space: The Journal of Law and Social Justice (2007) 1:2 at 1-39.

Perkins,R., Lovejoy, F. (2007), CallGirls:Private SexWorkers in Australia, Crawley:University of Western Australia Press.

PLA, Legal advice re: sole operator sex workers providing prostitution from motel rooms [Available at:]

Plumridge, L. and Abel, G. (2001), ‘A “segmented” sex industry in New Zealand: sexual and personal safety of female sex workers’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 25: 1, 78–83.

QCAT,   GK v Dovedeen Pty Ltd & Anor (No 3)  [2011] QCAT 509 (10/ADL134) Brisb Ann Fitzpatrick, Member 25/10/2011 [available at:

QCAT, GK v Dovedeen Pty Ltd and Anor (No 2)  [2011] QCAT 445 (10/ADL134) Brisb C Endicott, Senior Member 15/09/2011 [available at:

QCATA, GK v Dovedeen Pty Ltd and Anor  [2012] QCATA 128 (11/APL416) Brisb PJ Roney SC, Presiding Member Dr B Cullen, Member 31/07/2012  [available at:

Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service. (1987). Final Report. Volume 1: Corruption. Commissioner: The Hon Justice JRT Wood, 13. Retrieved from:

Scambler, G. (1997), ‘Conspicuous and inconspicuous sex work: the neglect of the ordinary and mundane’, in G. Scambler and A. Scambler (eds.), Rethinking Prostitution: Purchasing Sex in the 1990s, London and New York: Routledge.

Scarlet Alliance, Submission on Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012,

Sex Services Premises Planning Advisory Panel, Sex Services Premises Planning Guidelines, NSW Department of Planning, 2004,

Susanne Dodillet and Petra Ostergren, ‘The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects’ Conference paper presented at the International Workshop Decriminalizing Prostitution and Beyond: Practical Experiences and Challenges The Hague, March 3 and 4, 2011,

THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP, Attorney-General.  ‘Human Rights Check for  New Laws’, MEDIA RELEASE, 4 January 2012,—Human-Rights-check-for-new-laws.aspx

TVNZ News Online, (2009). Court told how cop bribed prostitute for sex. Downloaded 27th Dec 2011, from

UNAIDS, Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work, Geneva, 2009,

Weitzer, R. (2005), ‘New directions in research on prostitution’, Crime, Law and Social Change, 43, 211–35.”

Police Sting Nabs Kerb-crawlers

Offensive Media Articles

I am referring to an article in the Sunday Herald Sun titled Police sting nabs kerb-crawlers written by Jon Kaila, dated December 18th, 2011.  In this article Senior Detective Daly of the Victoria Police warns our clients that they will be arrested and charged for talking to undercover policewomen, posing as sex workers on the streets of Victoria.

The sad thing about this latest ploy to isolate our most vulnerable sex workers, is that Police are now making criminals out of the “…average everyday bloke…”.  While it is not illegal in every other state in Australia to practice lawful sex work, there will always be a minority of sex workers, who through circumstances beyond their control, will find themselves in situations where sex working on the street is their only reliable source of income.  But this is not all street workers.

Consider that street sex workers only account for about 7-10% of the entire estimated sex worker population (Hubbard, 2004; Scrambler, 1997;  Weitzer, 2005).  By charging normal everyday people who choose to see them, in an attempt to drive these sex workers away, is nothing short of stupidity and an abuse of power by Police.  Sex workers are not homogeneous either, therefore there are no issues that are more important to certain sectors than others (O’Connor et al., 1996: Plumridge and Abel, 2001).  By moving them on to less visible locations, actually increases the risk of violence being perpetrated against them and forces them into the arms of street criminals (Hubbard, 2004).

While Victoria Police have admitted it is pointless targeting sex workers, they are in fact continuing to do so by targeting their clients in this way.  Here we see the average Joe Blogs being directly harmed with no regard for the impact on their families and friends, let alone the ongoing victimisation toward sex workers in general.  It is simply not good enough to make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens.  Compound this with other inappropriate, heavily regulated sex industry laws that do not recognise the specific needs of sex workers generally, so they can continue to practice their work safely and with dignity, and we have a recipe for disaster.  Bad Police decisions like this one, whom despite “…studying [other reputable] methods from around the world…”, still choose to fly in the face of recognised best practice models.  Developing and implementing a completely hostile strategy like ‘operation sting’, for want of a better description, is designed to burn bridges, not build them.

We are witnessing the corruption of recognised ‘best practices’ in favour of poorly researched, social experiments where everyday people and those who have the least amount of resources and ability to defend themselves, are being used as human guinea pigs, deemed worthless of consultation by the establishment.  These sex workers and their clients have not had their Human Rights considered.  Everyone has the right to choose whether or not to sell or pay for sex and live in peace, without harassment and vilification.  If society chooses to ignore the research and deny the real issues, then sex workers also have the right to provide for themselves as best they can.  Only they can determine what their immediate needs are.  Take away their only source of income and what do you think will happen?

Proven harm-minimisation models are being applied by sex worker organisations and healthcare providers throughout Australia and the world with a great deal of success, all-be-it limited considering current legal constraints for sex workers in Australia and those assisting them.  These same service providers are also funded by the Australian Government! The overall objective is to reduce the impact of the harm caused to self or other by educating those directly affected in order to raise their awareness of the alternatives that may (or may not) be available to them.  Harm-minimisation stems from the belief that people are at various stages of development and as such need to be approached and met at their level of awareness, while being given the tools, support and resources to facilitate a process whereby individuals feel empowered to make better choices for themselves and ultimately the community.

Some of these sex workers may not want a way out of the sex work industry.  Sex work might be all they have known but they will know the industry inside out and back to front.  They are well aware of the risks they are taking under current criminalised/heavily regulated legislation, continuing to provide a service to the community and do everything in their power to reduce the risks associated with providing a sex service.  However our attempts are also futile when inappropriate policies like this, leave us with little or no room to move and even less legal standing in society to fight these and other types of injustices.  Look at what is happening in the mining towns in outback Queensland at the moment.

Sex workers are being evicted and thrown out onto the street by hotelier’s who undoubtedly think that the street is where they belong.  Laws need to be made that are consistent.  It is no good to say that legal sex workers are able to practice ‘lawful sexual activity’ from their accommodation by the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ) and then have the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) find any weak excuse to undermine this, such as what happened in the recent QCAT decision against the legal sex worker GK, about to be appealed.  Blatant inconsistencies like this, highlight just how difficult it is for sex workers to work within these heavily regulated and meaningless laws.  Sex workers need their basic human rights protected – on and off the streets.

In conclusion, as a legal and lawful sex worker in almost every state in Australia, I need decriminalisation to occur nationally in order to improve the health and safety of sex workers, their clients and the public.  I need laws that recognise, reflect and support the nature and scope of the work we do.  I need laws that are consistent and designed to back other area’s of legislation in support of lawful sex work.  I need laws that allow sex workers to work together and support each other in order to debrief and reduce the likelihood of violent crimes being committed against them.  I need laws that do not allow sex workers to be evicted from anywhere at the whim of Police and groups of renegade hoteliers, real estate agents and landlords.  I need my human rights to be on an equal par with the rest of my community as recommended by the United Nations and demonstrated by New Zealand’s Prostitution Reform Act 2003.

When laws and policies are made without consultation with sex workers and sex worker organisations, decisions will be made, like this one, that compromise all the good work health and sex worker organisations are currently doing across the board.  Why are we continuing to ignore the issues?  How can we make effective policies and develop strategies without all the relevant information?  We can’t.   How can we continue to practice a service delivery when we are up against conflicting government policies designed to pit one against the other?  We can’t.  Australia is failing our sex workers, our clients and our community by not legislating in support of decriminalisation of the sex industry.  It is about time we did something intelligent about it.  Jx

© Copyright, 2011,  All Rights Reserved


Davis, S. and Shaffer, M. (1994), Prostitution in Canada: the invisible menace or the menace of invisibility?, Vancouver, Commercial Sex Information Service,

Hubbard, P. (2004), ‘Cleansing the metropolis: sex work and the politics of zero tolerance’Urban Studies, 41: 9, 1687–702

O’Connor, C., Berry, G., Rohrsheim, R. and Donovan, B. (1996), ‘Sexual health and use of condoms among local and international sex workers in Sydney’, Genitourinary Medicine, 72: 1, 47–51.

Plumridge, L. and Abel, G. (2001), ‘A “segmented” sex industry in New Zealand: sexual and personal safety of female sex workers’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 25: 1, 78–83.


Motels Not Happy About Hookers

Offensive Media Articles

Again, another shoddy attempt at journalism.  Poorly written and bia’s.  The Morning Bulletin published an article in Rockhampton titled Motels not happy about hookers’, dated 18th November, 2011 by Kerri-Anne Mesner.  In this article I am offended by the language that has been used to refer to legal sex workers and the total lack of consultation with sex worker organisations, such as RESPECT Inc.

The derogatory word ‘prostitute’ has been used eight times, and the word ‘hooker’ twice, including in the title.  The correct title ‘legal sex workers’ has not been used at all.  There is also a lack of counter-argument from sex workers in the article.  I have no doubt in my mind that Kerri-Anne Mesner made little or no attempt to consult with sex worker organisations for comments.  If she did, I expect she would have sent an email at 4.45pm on a Friday afternoon, when most people have already left for the weekend.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the obvious bias in the article.  Unfortunately, a lot of Australians are ignorant of the arguments for or against sex workers and rely on the media for facts. Sadly, media articles like this one do more harm than good and are no more than inflammatory.  Journalists need to be educated about how to write and research their stories and at the very least, have their stories read by an editor to ensure high reporting standards are maintained.  Kerri-Anne Mesner’s article is embarrassing and insulting to the general public who are educated who can read between the lines.  I feel I have to fill in some of the gaps in order to develop the story into one worth reading.

It is important to add that the recent Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision ruling against the legal sex worker known as GK in favour of the owners of the Drovers Rest Motel in Moranbah, is being appealed.  It is highly likely to be overturned and bought in line with current anti-discrimination laws and modern business practice.  Unfortunately people in positions of power are also human and prone to letting their own personal bias interfere with ethical decision-making, as is evident in this particular ruling.

Following on from this, is the weak interpretation of the Liquor Licensing Act that QCAT based their decision on.  In my opinion, if it is all of a sudden found to be illegal to operate a business from your motel room, which has a mini bar, in a hotel/motel that holds a liquor license, then wouldn’t that also apply to all the other businessmen and woman who use hotels and motel’s?  Consider ‘business’ conferences conducted for all sorts of businesses across Australia where alcohol is served or available.

The assertion that lawful sex workers are now moving into unlicensed premises is a misnomer.  We have always been there.  The comment by yet another motel owner is blatant evidence that he has been practising discrimination against lawful sex workers for at least four years by ‘turfing them out’.  How has he been able to get away with this illegal behaviour?  The idea that there are also legal sex workers who are male or transgender seems to completely baffle the owners.  They  appear ignorant that the sex industry is not a woman only service provider.  I would like to know how they ‘discovered’ how much money the male sex worker was earning?  I can only assume he had been stalked.  What disgusting language to refer to a legal sex worker as a ‘male-on-male’!

Further more, I would like to know how they can tell the difference between one legal sex worker and another?  How do they know which lawful sex workers will behave questionably?  My guess is that they don’t and they have made an unlawful policy by labelling all sex workers as problematic.  All this does is create an even bigger problem by not addressing the actual behaviour, on a case-by-case basis, as you would with any other guest.  I suspect that there is an irrational fear of legal sex workers which has resulted in whorephobia.

In conclusion, although these articles frustrate and annoy me for there poor reporting, they are useful for highlighting what the actual issues are.  Gender discrimination, sex worker discrimination and sexism.  They encourage debate, and in my opinion any debate is better than complete denial of the issues.  It is clear in the article in question, that Kerri-Anne Mesner has not really thought about what the real story here is.  She has missed her opportunity to really make a journalistic impression on those of us with learned intelligence.

It is about time the media took some pride in their stories and did Australians a service instead of slapping us in the face with bigotry.  Kerri-Anne Mesner could be forgiven for taking the easy road, but in this instance the implications of her negligence on the community is too great.  It is important that Australians are educated about facts about sex work, sex workers and the law.  Only then will the general public be fully informed about the pro’s and con’s of all aspects of the sex industry.  It is simply an injustice to write about moralistic assumptions based on what a small group of hostile hoteliers are saying without hearing what key experts have to say on the real issues.

I am carefully considering making formal complaints about media articles like this that discriminate in their own words.  It is about time we take a stand and insisted that journalists are university educated and supervised before their stories can be published.  Australia needs information to be based on fact rather than speculation.  Anything less, is nothing more than bullshit.  Jx


© Copyright, 2011,  All Rights Reserved