Australian escorts and our anachronistic state laws.
I always found the sex industry laws in Australia very confusing. What is the norm and perfectly acceptable in one state is subject to prosecution as soon as you cross the border.
This is confusing for travelling clients and escorts. Of course, escorts must be knowledgeable about the laws of the state they are planning on travelling to.
Sydney, New South Wales have the most liberal laws in Australia. Pretty much anything goes, the escort industry is decriminalised so escorts and clients can pursue pleasure without consequence.
Now let’s look at Queensland and Victoria.
Victoria has some of the strictest industry laws in the country. Private escorts can provide outcalls only, unless they have a permit to provide incalls. But here’s the catch: the incalls can only be provided in an industrial zone.
In their advertising, escorts cannot describe their services and their photographs are limited to head and shoulders shots only. Name any industry in Australia and you can bet that they are allowed to show more sexual photos than Victorian escorts can. Which is mad, since sex is what they are selling.
This makes it very difficult for Melbourne escorts, as many do not wish to show their face for privacy reasons. So an escort who must show a head and shoulder photo, but for privacy has blurred her face, and she can’t tell you the details of what she is providing – well, she is pretty much screwed.
In the early days I can kind of understand this – the advertising was mostly in newspapers, and there was a need to protect innocent eyes. But in the internet age, where sex, porn and nudity is everywhere you look, it is insane that a Melbourne escort can’t promote the service that she is legally providing, and paying taxes for.
In Queensland, escort agencies are illegal. Private escorts are not allowed to work together, share the same incall premises, or even tell each other where they are going for safety reasons. Independent escorts who provide outcalls cannot even employ a driver unless they have a current crowd controller’s license – which places their safety at risk. Queensland escorts cannot show a whip or BDSM equipment in their advertising, and full frontal nudity is not allowed.
Just like in Melbourne, Brisbane escorts cannot describe details of their services.
Contrast this with the Northern Territory. In Darwin, Escort agencies are legal – but brothels are illegal. The complete opposite of Queensland, just over the border. Similar to Queensland, private escorts must work alone and no driver is allowed.
The law that I find the most bizarre: An independent escort can provide an incall, but she cannot do so from the same premises that the booking was organised. Crazy. So if an escort receives a telephone call at her premises, she can no longer provide the service there as she will be deemed to be providing a service in a brothel. It is just ridiculous.
In Western Australia, Brothels are also illegal. I am not sure if Kalgoorlie is in WA … I will have to Google it.
Independent escorts can provide an incall, as long as there is only one escort operating from the premises.
In Canberra, brothels, escort agencies and private escorts are allowed. But it is against the law for independent escorts to work together or share a premises.
Adelaide is another strange one. Big time. Private escorts, agencies and brothels are allowed … BUT … it is illegal to manage a brothel or live off the earnings, illegal to receive money paid in a brothel in respect to prostitution, and the list goes on. Go figure. The South Australian laws were written to suppress the sex industry - particularly brothels.
These kind of laws lead to the most confusion of all. It’s either allowed, or it’s not. Stop being such a nanny state.
Lastly, there is Tasmania. This is where the private escorts rule. In Tasmania, both brothels AND escort agencies are illegal. Independent escorts are allowed, and can even work together – as long as there is no more than two.
Maybe the time has come to fall in line with the NSW legislation, and allow the sex industry to grow without the burden of anachronistic laws.