SEXUAL INTEGRITY FORUM
AMENDING PROSTITUTION LEGISLATION
(FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTED MEMBER)
By John Grant
Within Queensland cities we are called upon to approve brothel applications as a land use development. The state legislation has created a situation where Councillors would be acting unlawfully if we refused compliant brothel applications. The Councillors in Logan have voted nine-to-one passing resolutions which "fail to approve" rather than "refuse" applications, whereby we have thus far avoided prosecution.
We have observed in Queensland since 1999 the establishment and normalisation of a two-tiered prostitution industry, with the illegal and the government sanctioned sectors.
The harm to individuals entangled within this industry is severe and far reaching touching physical and mental health, infertility rates & family cohesion, but I will not seek to convince you of these claims within this summary.
The cost of maintaining this industry is enormous, encompassing funding for the Prostitution Licensing Authority, Police Enforcement Taskforce, Health Departments (which need to halve their inspection regime to achieve budgets), psychological counselling, sexual health clinics & relationship support groups.
The myth that women within the prostitution industry are just as healthy as the average woman within the broader population, is being sustained by government health reports, which deliberately conceal the truth about illnesses, contracted by sex workers.
Swedish legislation has achieved a sixty percent reduction in prostitution, by combining the decriminalisation of selling sex, while criminalising the buying of sex. The Swedes view prostitution as "an aspect of male violence against women and children".
The clear challenge ahead is to achieve amendments to the Prostitution Act with the express purpose of minimising harm by reducing the numbers involved in the industry.
If these types of amendments can be achieved in Australia, we also can expect a significant decrease in harm due to people moving out of the industry and by the prevention of significant numbers entering it in the first place.
With this purpose clearly in mind, we have established a network of professionals working to collate researched information to help bring about beneficial amendments of the Prostitution Act in Queensland. If by virtue of your position or access to information and networks, you can aid our cause, please do not hesitate to contact:
Cr John Grant, Deputy Mayor, Logan City
Ph: (07) 3826 5392 (w); (07) 3801 5979 (h)