Types of personal information held by the PLA
Applications for licences and certificates
A large range of information is collected from applicants for a brothel licence or approved manager's certificate for the PLA to determine if they are a suitable person to be granted a licence or certificate. Similarly, a range of information is collected through the annual return process in order to determine the on-going suitability of licensees to hold a licence and approved managers to hold a certificate. Information sought relates to ss. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41, and 42 of the Prostitution Act. This information may also be used to support the PLA's disciplinary processes under ss. 26, 27, 52, and 53 of the Prostitution Act.
Applicants are required to present the PLA with a range of personal information, including: name; current and previous residential addresses; date of birth; current and previous employment; physical description; citizenship; criminal history; details of family and business associates; business involvement; involvement in prostitution; details of any licences or certificates held; memberships of professional bodies or associations; and financial details such as bankruptcy, tax returns, assets, loans, debts, investments, and sources of funds over the past five years.
In addition to information provided by applicants, the PLA seeks information from other agencies and financial institutions. For this purpose, applicants are required to sign an authority for release of information. Applicants' personal information is made available to the Queensland Police Service pursuant to ss. 14 and 39 of the Prostitution Act. In accordance with ss. 15 and 40 of the Prostitution Act, in considering an application, the PLA is authorised to conduct the inquiries it considers appropriate. The names and dates of birth of applicants and their associates are disclosed to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and to the Victorian Business Licensing Authority for relevant checks. The names of all companies with which applicants are associated are disclosed to the Office of Fair Trading and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in the course of enquiries.
Access to applicant records is restricted to the members of the PLA, the Executive Director, and staff involved in licence and certificate processing.
Complaints about prostitution
It is a legislative function under s. 101(f) of the Prostitution Act for the PLA to receive complaints in respect of prostitution. Complaints may, for example, be related to brothel operations, prostitution advertising or a suspected illegal prostitution enterprise.
Complaints may include personal information such as name, address, telephone number, occupation, marital status, sexual proclivities, personal opinions, grievances and allegations.
In seeking to resolve complaints, the PLA may forward details of the complaints to other agencies, such as the Queensland Police Service, or to brothel licensees and approved managers.
Complainants to the PLA are entitled to anonymity. In circumstances where an individual has provided information capable of rendering their identity, such as their name, address and telephone number, the PLA will only disclose those details to a third party with that person's consent. Otherwise, information may be provided to a third party in such a way that the complainant is not capable of being identified.
In situations where a complaint is more appropriately within the jurisdiction of another entity, such as the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission, the Office of Fair Trading, the Crime and Misconduct Commission or the Queensland Ombudsman, the complainant may be advised to make a complaint directly to that agency or their consent sought for the PLA to refer their complaint to that agency.
PLA staff involved in complaint taking and the resolution of complaints have access to complaint information.
Ministerial correspondence, from the public or other government agencies on matters related to prostitution may be referred to the PLA for consideration and preparation of advice and responses.
Content may include names, addresses, personal opinions and allegations, complaints and grievances, and information about the person's occupation and personal circumstances.
Members of the PLA, the Executive Director, and staff involved in the preparation of responses have access to this personal information.
Staff information is collected and held under the Public Service Act 2008 and the Public Service Regulation 2008 and is used to administer the staffing, financial and human resources processes of the Office of the PLA.
Personal information collected about staff includes date of birth, current and previous residential addresses, name and contact details of next of kin, criminal history, information about family members, previous employment, qualifications, membership of clubs and associations, information about travel or residence overseas, and some financial information. Records may also contain information concerning accidents and injuries, compensation, rehabilitation, complaints grievances, and discipline matters.
Access to records containing the personal information of staff is granted to the Executive Director, the members of the PLA, staff involved in processing human resources matters and the direct supervisor of the employee on an 'as needs' basis. Under s. 14 of the Public Service Regulation, staff members are entitled to inspect their employee record and make copies.