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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5252 ..

workers and their clients. It would also be useful at this time to examine the extent to which the ACT system prevents the employment of sex workers outside of the law. How many unregistered local workers, unregistered overseas workers, underage workers or infected workers find their way into the ACT system, and what can be done to improve the capacity of government agencies, and the industry itself, to maximise compliance.

I would like to make it clear that the government is pleased with the approach, and the performance, of agencies and operators in achieving a generally very compliant industry. Our industry is not cast in darkness. Our industry does not see organised crime or other criminal activities that we might see in other industries around Australia. But there is always benefit in reviewing regulatory systems, particularly after so many years of operation.

I will not list here in detail all of the matters that might be discussed in the inquiry, although I have mentioned a number of areas where I believe inquiry would be worth while. That will ultimately be, of course, a matter for the submissions. Most people within our community have a view, at some level, about the existence and operation of the commercial sex industry. Some views on this subject cannot be reconciled, either because their proponents are fundamentally philosophically at odds or, in some cases, because people are poorly informed about the many issues involved.

Whatever the views expressed, and regardless of the prospects of broad consensus on the issue, the government believes that the time is right to review the performance of the regulatory system for prostitution in the ACT—to hear and analyse the response of stakeholders and the ACT community with the benefit of 18 years of operational experience, and to examine what, if anything, may be done to further improve the system. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.04): I move the amendment to Mr Corbell’s motion circulated in my name:

Omit all words, substitute:

“That this Assembly refers to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety a review into the operation of the Prostitution Act 1992 for inquiry and report to the Assembly by the end of 2011. 

In reviewing the operation of the Act the Committee have regard to a range of issues including but not limited to:

(1) the form and operation of the Act;

(2) the regulation, enforcement and monitoring of commercially operated brothels;

(3) identifying regulatory options, including the desirability of requiring commercially operated brothels to maintain records of workers and relevant proof of age, to ensure that all sex workers are over the age of 18 years;

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