Australia Prostitution Law

Prostitution and Local Laws

The escort service in Australia is subjected to state and territory laws (each of the 6 states and additional territories are governed by their own specific and different set of laws) as well as the Federal Legislation of Australia that also influences the escort service in Australia and the relation between Australian citizens and outside visitors to a certain degree.

Since 1970 there has been an internal movement towards the legalization of prostitution laws and the approach has varied depending on the state/territory.

         New South Wales

New South Wales (NSW) has the most permissive legislation in Australia, has the best coverage regarding discrimination and has been used as a model for other states/territories. According to the 1988 Summary Offence Act, brothels are legal and the last reform has been in 2007 with the Brothels Legislation Act.

Brothels are considered to be legal, provided that the person (except managers and owners) do not cover the earnings made by a person engaged in prostitution; that the establishment does not promote the act of prostitution and/or advertises it or offers sex services under the pretense of massage, photographic studios, sauna/steam baths or fitness establishments; the establishment is not engaged in child prostitution and/or advertises specifically anal penetration; the establishment is not easily distinguished as being in close proximity of a school, church, hospital or dwelling. Street prostitution is illegal, but not for the client.

           Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory brothels are illegal according to the Prostitution Act 2004, but escort establishments are legal. The Northern Territory Licensing Commission can license residence of Northern Territory for a license to manage an escort agency. Street work is also illegal, but sole operators are on the other hand legal and un-regulated.


In Queensland brothels are legal and licensed according to the Prostitution Licensing Authority that in turn reports to the Crime and Misconduct Commission which in turn reports to the Parliament. In Queensland there are two types of sex work activities that are considered legal: private sex work offered by an individual and sex work engaged in a licensed brothel.

Illegal forms of sex work include individual workers sharing premises, brothels that have more than 5 workers at a time and/or a staff of over 20 workers, street prostitution (but not for the client), unlicensed brothels or massage/fitness establishments used for sex work.

          South Australia

Brothels are considered to be illegal in South Australia as with the Criminal Law Consolidation Act of 1935 and the Summary Offences Act of 1953. The act of prostitution itself is not considered as illegal, so individually offered sex work is legal, but receiving the money for the sex work of another person, soliciting in public places and procuring is considered illegal.


Prostitution in Tasmania is legal according to the Sex Industry Offence Act of 2005, but only for individuals that offer services of the nature. It is illegal for a person to employ and/or to control the profit of an individual that offers such services.

Street prostitution is also illegal as well as sexual assault of a sex worker or to engage in sexual services with a sex worker without the use of prophylactic.


Victoria was among the first states to advocate prostitution and militates mainly towards regulating prostitution. Brothel prostitution has become legal as with the Prostitution Control Act in 1994, which was later amended through the Sex Work and other Act Amendment in 2011. Brothels are regulated under the Consumer Affair Victoria, but street prostitution is still illegal. The main object of the regulative sex work system is to eliminate the criminal element in the industry as well as underage prostitution and human trafficking.

         Western Australia

Prostitution in Western Australia is regulated by the Prostitution Control Act of 2000. Prostitution as an individual is legal, but most activities associated with it, such as brothels and managing the profit of sexual workers (pimping) is illegal. Even so, brothels are tolerated and unofficially regulated.

Comments (1) -

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