|Cate Faehrmann MLC|
Responding to reports the government will establish a Brothel Licensing
Authority, Greens MP Cate Faehrmann says a brothel licensing scheme will
be a public health disaster for NSW, and could lead to increased rates
of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.
"The evidence against licensing is overwhelming. It will lead to poorer
health and public safety outcomes, not just for sex workers but for the
entire community," said Ms Faehrmann.
"Licensing schemes have been a dismal failure in other states. Where
they exist they are extremely expensive and have the opposite effect of
what is intended, creating a more dangerous environment for sex workers
and their clients.
"In contrast, NSW has an enviable record on HIV prevention, and this is
partly down to the decriminalisation model and the services that are
therefore freely available from organisations like the Sex Workers
"In Queensland, where brothel licensing scheme operates, around 90% of
the industry has been forced underground. That means the majority of sex
work is unregulated, illegal and therefore more dangerous. Workers and
clients simply don't have the kind of access to health services and law
enforcement that is necessary.
"The timing of this announcement is typical. This isn't about
protecting women and cleaning up the sex industry, this is a cynical
attempt to politicise another controversial issue for political gain.
"No one is suggesting there aren't problems or improvements that could
be made. Currently there are very comprehensive planning guidelines for
brothel regulation that are not applied consistently by local
government. This is where improvements can be made.
"I challenge the government to point to a single licensing scheme
elsewhere in the world that has improved health and public safety
outcomes. It simply doesn't exist," said Ms Faehrmann.
Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727