QUEENSLAND licensed brothel owners want to send escorts on house calls and have more sex workers on shift inside bordellos, according to a new proposal from the industry's peak business body.

In a submission to the sex industry watchdog, the Prostitution Licensing Authority (PLA), the Queensland Adult Business Association (QABA) argue 80 per cent of the state's sex industry "continues to operate illegally" due to failures in the current laws.

"The nature of the legislation itself is largely responsible for this situation," QABA president Neil Gilmore said of the Prostitution Act, which was drafted in 1999.

Mr Gilmore owns Gold Coast brothel Pentagon Grand.

 

Neil Gilmore, QABA President, at the Pentagon Grand brothel at Ashmore. Picture Glenn Hampson
Neil Gilmore, QABA President, at the Pentagon Grand brothel at Ashmore. Picture Glenn Hampson

The brothel owners' plea for change was made during a presentation to the PLA in March, ahead of the watchdog's impending submission to the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC), which is expected to look into the legislation later this year.

QABA - which represents the 21 licensed brothels in Queensland - also wants greater punishments for illegal operators.

In its submission it called for amendments to legislation to allow brothels to send sex workers on house calls, changes to advertising, and increase the number of working rooms within licensed brothels.

QABA also wants the QLRC to consider removing limits on the number of businesses a licensee may own, changes in locations to licensed brothels, exemptions to ethical objections to the financial services industry and removal of illegal massage parlours.

The Bulletin has previously revealed QABA was driven to hire a private investigator to identify almost 50 illegal massage parlours operating as brothels in the city.

The State Government will look at whether prostitution laws should be amended.
The State Government will look at whether prostitution laws should be amended.

The submission says a number of reports commissioned by the prostitution watchdog found preventing brothels from providing house calls was "fundamentally anti-competitive and has left a void, which has been exploited by unlawful operators".

" … The restriction fails to consider the significant number of clients with disability or elderly and/or housebound people who seek professional sex worker's services. The existing laws disenfranchise many of these community members or force them to access illegal services, in both cases risking unnecessary harm," the submission says.

QABA also argued allowing brothels to offer house calls would strengthen the licensed sector to compete with illegal operators, make it "less attractive" for sex workers to work unlawfully and "ensure sex workers hold a sexual health certificate".

Pentagon Grand’s sports room. Picture: Supplied.
Pentagon Grand’s sports room. Picture: Supplied.

It said allowing licensed brothels to send workers out on jobs would ensure they were paid appropriately and "not encouraged to accept drugs as payment for services".

It also said regulation of escort services would allow a COVID-safe plan to be put in place during out-calls.

Legal brothels can operate with eight sex workers and five rooms. QABA want this increased in Queensland so 10 sex workers are permitted on a premises at one time and seven rooms can be operated.

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They say this would avoid "client aggression" as often customers have to wait for "two hours or more" before a room becomes available for booking.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said she had "committed to referring the regulation of the sex-work industry to the QLRC in June".

"As part of the QLRC's review they will consult with stakeholders and seek their submissions to form the review," she said in a statement.

Mr Gilmore said he hoped the QLRC would take into consideration QABA's views in any decisions around reform.

 

 

 

Originally published as Revealed: Push for brothel house calls, more girls on shift



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