Who is not eligible to get a licence or certificate?
The Prostitution Act 1999 (the Act) sets out a number of categories of persons who are not eligible to obtain a licence or certificate. An individual's eligibility for a brothel licence or manager's certificate is discussed later in this section.
What is a ‘disqualifying offence’?
A ‘disqualifying offence’ as defined in the Act is an offence or an attempt to commit or to conspire to commit or to counsel or procure a person to commit any of the following:
- section 90 of the Crimes (Confiscation) Act 1989 (Money laundering)
- section 5 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Trafficking in dangerous drugs)
- official corruption
- unlawful homicide or attempt to murder
- rape or attempt to commit rape
- demanding property, benefit or performance of services with threats
- offences against morality that relate to a child or an intellectually impaired person
- prostitution offences that relate to a child or an intellectually impaired person
- sections 233-236, 240-245, 280-285 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cwlth)
- an offence that, if committed in Queensland, would be a disqualifying offence as described above.
Anyone with a disqualifying offence is ineligible to apply for a brothel licence or manager’s certificate.
I have a conviction for prostitution, can I still get a licence or certificate?
A conviction for prostitution alone does not preclude a person from obtaining a licence or certificate. However, the PLA must refuse to grant a licence if it is satisfied that the applicant:
- is not a suitable person to operate a licensed brothel
- has an interest in another licensed brothel
- holds a licence or permit under the Liquor Act.
In the case of an application for a manager's certificate, the PLA must refuse to grant a certificate if it is satisfied that the applicant:
- is not a suitable person to be an approved manager of a licensed brothel
- has an interest in another licensed brothel otherwise than as an approved manager of the other brothel.
If I am eligible, will I get a licence or a certificate if I apply?
Not necessarily. All applications are subject to rigorous vetting by the PLA and the Queensland Police Service (QPS). This will include checking the criminal history of the applicant, their family and associates. The PLA may seek advice and information on the application from any other entity it considers appropriate and require the applicant to give further information it considers relevant to the application.
A brothel licence applicant's financial background and the financial viability of the brothel will also be checked. The PLA will consider the business structure for the operation of the brothel including the identification of all associates (individuals or bodies corporate).
Applicants for a brothel licence are required to submit a business and operational plan together with the application, which must include arrangements to ensure the safety of persons directly involved in providing prostitution and any other arrangements necessary to comply with the Act.
The applicant must consent to having their palm prints, fingerprints, handwriting, voiceprints or footprints taken by the PLA or QPS as well as photographs of the person's identifying features. Should the applicant refuse to allow their identifying particulars to be taken, the PLA must refuse to consider the application. Should the applicant fail to give any further information required by the PLA, the applicant is taken to have withdrawn the application.
Before approving a licence or certificate, the PLA must be satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence or certificate. In making that decision, the PLA must consider all relevant matters. Suitability criteria for a brothel licence or a manager's certificate are discussed later in this section.
Finally, before the PLA can grant a licence it must consider whether the combined total of licensed brothels and adult entertainment permits in the proposed area for the brothel would substantially affect the character of the locality. An example of character of locality being substantially affected is the area becoming a ‘red light district’.