There are two separate processes that must be satisfied before a brothel can commence operation legally. A person who wishes to establish a brothel must apply to the local authority for approval to locate a brothel in particular premises and must also apply to the PLA for a brothel licence.
Brothels in Queensland are limited to a maximum of 5 service rooms. Escort services, or ‘out-calls’, are not permitted. If you have approval to operate a 5 room brothel, you must not have more than eight sex workers at the brothel at the one time. The total number of all staff at a brothel, including the manager, receptionist and all other workers must not exceed thirteen at any one time.
Offences relating to licensed brothels
Under the Prostitution Act, it is an offence for a brothel owner or manager to:
- run escort services or ‘out-calls’ from a licensed brothel;
- provide prostitution under the licence at a place other than the brothel;
- have more than thirteen staff at a brothel at any one time;
- provide prostitution at the brothel in contravention of any condition or restriction of a licence or a certificate;
- have more sex workers on premises than are allowable, depending on the number of rooms;
- leave a brothel unsupervised by the licensee or approved manager;
- run a brothel in association with anyone who does not hold a brothel licence;
- have an interest in more than one Queensland brothel;
- permit liquor at a licenced brothel (if liquor is found at a brothel, the licensee and any approved manager whose duty it was to personally supervise the brothel at the relevant time each commit an offence);
- permit a sex worker to work during any period in which the person knows the worker is infective with a sexually transmissible disease.
Under the Act it is an offence for workers to:
- possess liquor at a licensed brothel;
- work as a sex worker while knowingly infective with a sexually transmissible disease; and
- provide sexual intercourse or oral sex without a prophylactic.
It is also an offence not to:
- assist police who have lawfully entered a licensed brothel under the Prostitution Act;
- provide documents requested by police at a licensed brothel;
- provide particulars about age that are requested by police at a licensed brothel;
- provide the name and address of licensees and managers to police;
- display the licence or a notice stating the licensee’s licence number, the address of the brothel and the date on which the licensee’s licence expires prominently at the entrance to the brothel; and
- produce a licence or manager’s certificate if requested by police.
Only police of the rank of inspector or above may enter, or authorise an entry, to a licensed brothel when it is open for business. Police officers who wish to inspect, copy or take possession of documents or things must seek prior written authorisation from the PLA. Details about police entry of licensed brothels must be reported to the PLA.