The leader of the Reason Party, Fiona Patten MP, has today questioned whether there is an unusual epidemic of neck injury in Melbourne, or whether the incredible proliferation of Massage Parlors across our suburbs is symptomatic of something else?
In releasing her costed policy on Sex and Censorship today, Ms Patten said “With unregulated sexual services being provided at many of these massage parlours, it is evident that our current regulatory regime has failed. It is time that this Government introduced a modern, best practice approach to sex industry regulation.”
Fiona Patten MP is promising that if re-elected she will work to fully decriminalise sex work in Victoria.
Sex work is already decriminalised in NSW, ACT and New Zealand, where sex-related businesses are treated like any other business, rather than subjected to specialist regulation. The decriminalisation model of sex work is supported by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Australian sex worker collectives such as Scarlet Alliance.
“When you make compliance with the law impossible, you drive sex work underground to the detriment of health and safety for workers and the community” Ms Patten said.
“A decriminalised model is not an unregulated one, so we can still ensure community concerns regarding the location of brothels are managed”.
Victoria currently operates under an outdated ‘licensing model’ for sex work. Not only will a decriminalised system improve health and safety for those currently providing underground services, costings prepared by the Parliamentary Budgets Office show that decriminalisation would save the state $2.6 million over the forward estimates in direct costs, and significantly more in indirect costs.
In announcing her policy today, Ms Patten vigorously rejected the Nordic Model of regulation favoured by The Australian Christian Lobby and Greens Candidate for Richmond, Kathleen Maltzahn, which criminalises paying for sex.
“The Nordic model does not decrease the prevalence of sex work, it just drives it back underground putting sex workers safety and health at risk. We advocate for the decriminalisation of sex-work as the internationally recognised best practice model of sex industry regulation” Ms Patten said.
The full Reason Party policy on sex and censorship can be found at: https://reasonvic.org.au/policy/