Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024
After a long wait, the Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 (the Bill) was introduced at Parliament on Thursday 15 February, so it is now in the public domain. The legislative process means the Bill has been referred to a Parliamentary Committee who will essentially review the Bill to make sure it will do what it is supposed to do, which is reported back to Parliament so the Bill can be passed.
The Bill has been referred to the Housing, Big Build and Manufacturing Committee. The Bill, Explanatory Notes and Statement of Compatibility are available on the Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 page of the Committee’s website. The link to the Explanatory Speech isn’t live at time of writing, but you can view the speech at the Hansard record of proceedings (Hansard, pp 252-257).
The Explanatory Speech and Explanatory Notes are probably the best places to start understanding exactly what is intended so you can see how it might affect you.
If you would like to make a submission to the Inquiry, then details about how to do so are included on the Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 page of the Committee’s website.
The published timeline for the Committee Inquiry is:
- 26 February – public briefing
- 8 March (10am) – submissions close
- 22 March – public hearing
- 12 April – report to Parliament
Once the Bill is passed and becomes the Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024, the law won’t change until it is proclaimed. This last step of the process is to allow time for implementation of any arrangements necessary for the old licensing laws to be ceased and new laws to start to operate. The date of proclamation will depend on how complicated the changes are to implement, and responsibilities are assumed by the various agencies which will be involved in the sex work industry once the Prostitution Licensing Authority is disestablished.
We will provide more information as the process evolves and these questions are answered. Please be aware that until proclamation occurs, the current system continues to apply. Note also that the legislation provides for any legal proceedings commenced before proclamation to continue to be pursued, so please do not be tempted to anticipate the changes before they occur.
Yes. If you are a sex worker working in a licensed brothel, you must continue to get a medical examination or test (sexual health check) every 3 months.
Yes. If you are a brothel licensee or an approved manager, you must continue to renew your licence or certificate.
Yes. You must continue to follow the advertising guidelines.