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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2391 ..


worker and putting the onus on the brothel owner to provide personal protective equipment is one area that I believe is a really positive step. It is just reinforcing the work health and safety of all workers.

I personally think that sex work is work. It is work like any other work, and it should be regulated as such. This bill is trying to address that. Criminalising prostitution and other forms of sex work drives them underground and makes them dangerous in terms of risks to the sex worker, risks of disease in the community, and risks of corruption of police and other law enforcement personnel. No society in the history of the world has succeeded in preventing sex work. All such attempts have done is make it dangerous and make the lives of sex workers worse.

I share Mrs Dunne’s concerns about trafficking and slavery. Forced prostitution and sexual slavery are very serious issues, and ones we should have zero tolerance for. Having a safe, legal and open sex industry is one of the best methods of preventing those practices in our community. As we have discussed, sunlight is the best medicine. Having our sex industry out of the shadows means there is no place for the criminal element in it. It will allow the police to focus their resources on the real issues.

I do not necessarily agree that there is a natural connection between sex and violence, and I do know a bit about both. I do recognise, however, that there are far too many cases of domestic and sexual violence in our community. One of the most important ways to tackle that violence is to teach our young people that sex and violence are not, and should never be, connected, and that violence is not, and never will be, acceptable in any circumstance or situation.

Children should never be exposed to the sex industry, but they should be taught to be open and comfortable about sexuality. I hope that our parents, our schools and our community are achieving this. I believe that this bill will assist in that. Earlier this year I spoke about National Condom Day and why it is important for every member of the community to think about their sexual health. This bill helps to reinforce those really important messages.

I, too, would like to congratulate Mr Rattenbury for bringing these amendments forward. I look forward to the continuing debate.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (12.27), in reply: I table a revised explanatory statement for the Prostitution Amendment Bill 2018 which takes into account some minor editorial changes.

The Prostitution Act is one of many acts in the ACT that regulate professional industries. Like other legislation, such as the Legal Profession Act 2006, the Architects Act 2004, and the Veterinary Surgeons Act 2015, the Prostitution Act has an objects provision. Three of the key objects of the Prostitution Act are to safeguard public health; to promote the welfare and occupational health and safety of sex workers; and to protect children from sexual exploitation. The Prostitution Amendment Bill supports these objectives by making a range of amendments to


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