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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 2630..


will consider whether a memorandum of understanding to formally articulate an information-sharing arrangement in relation to investigations involving sex workers would be appropriate.

Overall, the government welcomes this report as a positive analysis of the legal and social issues involved in the regulation of the sex industry. The majority of the recommendations present a means of advancing regulation of the industry and protecting sex workers and their clients. The government's position on the operation of the Prostitution Act is that the act and the agencies responsible for its administration have significantly raised the level of protection of the health and safety of sex workers in the ACT and their clients. However, there is clearly room for improvement to be made in ensuring that people involved in the industry, either as workers or as clients, are kept healthy and safe. This includes being protected from the practice of people trafficking, which is a serious offence.

A significant amount of work will be required to give effect to the government's proposals. Apart from a number of important changes to the ACT's legislation, there will be a need for government agencies and sex work operators to review a number of aspects of their practices. In particular, the practice of allowing young people to be involved in the sex industry in any way must stop, and the government will be pursuing options for further strengthening enforcement of the law in this area and in the area of sex slavery or people trafficking in the sex industry.

The government proposes to establish an implementation working group to include all relevant government agencies and peak representatives of the industry to develop and oversee a program of implementation of the government's responses and further related recommendations made by ACT Policing which are canvassed in the government's response.

I encourage members to consider the government's response and participate in later debate on changes that the government will propose in relation to its response to this report. I commend the paper to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Papers

Mr Corbell presented the following papers:

Bail conditions—Government response, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 9 May 2012.

Security Industry Act, pursuant to section 21A—Review of the operation of paragraph 21(1)(a)(iii)—Report, dated June 2012.

Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act, pursuant to subsection 21(2)—Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment—Report on Canberra Nature Park (nature reserves); Molonglo River Corridor (nature reserves) and Googong Foreshores Investigation—Government response, dated June 2012.


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