Page 3773 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 October 1991

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Wednesday, 16 October 1991


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR MOORE (10.31): I present the Prostitution Bill 1991. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the second Bill that I will introduce - and I foreshadow that now - is the Prostitution (Consequential Amendments) Bill. It is designed to wipe the slate clean as far as current legislation on prostitution is concerned. That Bill will remove even the common law offences relating to prostitution that have governed the way prostitution has been dealt with, as well as the Crimes Act, and it will remove several strange anomalies.

One example is the provision for a person of unsound character to be asked to leave a coffee shop or a place where drinks are served. That provision would apply to a prostitute, and a $10 fine was provided for under the Police Offences Act, I believe. It is appropriate to remove that sort of anomaly from our law, and that applies right across the laws applying to prostitution. The consequential amendments would, on their own, provide for true decriminalisation of prostitution.

This Bill, of course, goes much further than that. The Bill that has been introduced is intended to provide regulation for prostitution. It proposes to establish a licensing board which would provide licences in class 1 or class 2. A class 1 licence would be provided for a brothel or escort agency of 40 workers and a class 2 licence for such an establishment having 10 workers.

The financial implications of this Bill are neutral, but I believe that it may be appropriate for a Minister to decide to move an amendment to the Bill to provide remuneration for the licensing board. Should such an amendment be proposed, I would certainly welcome it. At the same time, I think the understanding would be that licensing fees from such brothels would, of course, cover all costs associated with the licensing of brothels and the regulation of them.

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