New Bid to repeal SA’s archaic Sex Work Offences

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Greens MLC Tammy Franks has today launched legislation that would repeal the current criminal offences relating to sex work from South Australian statutes.

These current criminal laws and maximum penalties are:

  • Keeping a bawdy house = 2 years imprisonment
  • Permitting premises to be frequented by thieves etc. (includes “prostitutes” and “persons without lawful means of support”) = $750
  • Soliciting = $750
  • Procurement for prostitution = $1250 – $2500 or imprisonment for 3-6 months
  • Living on the earnings of prostitution = $1250 – $2500 or imprisonment for 3-6 months
  • Keeping and managing a brothel (or assisting) = $1250 – $2500 or imprisonment for 3-6 months
  • Permitting premise to be used as a brothel = $1250 – $2500 or imprisonment for 3-6 months

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“Sex work is work and should be subject to the same laws as any other kind of work, not criminal sanctions to punish based on the feigned morality of a bygone era.

“In the last debate some members claimed to support reform but wanted that reform to be Government led. This is a pathway for how that can happen. This Repeal Bill, if passed, would come into force in just over a year (July 2021) by removing the criminal penalties that currently apply. By passing this legislation the Parliament would put the Marshall Government on notice that they have a year to negotiate and work with the industry to transition to a lawful model of operation.

“Our current laws punish and police the most vulnerable in the industry and are not applied equally. Laws designed to punish those who profit from the existence of sex workers using their services such as renting premises and running ads are rarely used.

“We may have current laws that ban the advertising of sex work but even though the numbers dwindled ads ran in our major daily paper every single day of the public health pandemic. The police certainly didn’t knock downs the doors of the Advertiser to arrest their staff for running them.

“Sex work is not going away but we can erase the Victorian era laws that unfairly punish people for undertaking it and let the Marshal Government get on with the heavy lifting of working with the industry beyond the era of these stupid criminal sanctions on consensual adult sex work.