Act changes mean owners can evict sex workers

HOTEL and motel owners will have the power to evict sex workers from their rooms under new Queensland laws.

The move, effective immediately, comes after the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled Moranbah hotel owners had breached the Anti-Discrimination Act when it denied a legal sex worker a room.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie introduced the changes to the Act in Queensland Parliament on Thursday, noting the "ramifications" that decision had on the accommodation industry.

"This decision is being appealed by the Moranbah motel but it is necessary in the interim to change the law to give businesses certainty in controlling the use of their premises," he said.

"The changes will mean business owners can refuse a sex worker accommodation or evict them if they have reason to believe they are operating a business from their premises.

"If someone is running a business out of a hotel or motel room and the operator or manager receives complaints from other patrons they should be able to do something.

"Under the Liquor Act an operator can evict an unruly or rowdy patron for disturbing the peace by holding a party or playing music loudly.

"It is about levelling the playing field so the laws suit the majority not the minority."

This comes as the Prostitution Licensing Authority released its annual report, noting there were 24 brothels in Queensland in the past financial year and 197 compliance orders issued.

PLA chair Manus Boyce said that while they investigated 46 complaints, there were still no complaints about a licensed brothel's impact on community amenity during the authority's 12-year history.

The report detailed 46 complaints about prostitution, down from 63 the previous year, but most were about suspected illegal activities.

"The PLA appreciates that prostitution remains a contentious phenomenon in the community," the report said.

"The selling and purchase of sex has endured over many centuries across civilisations in spite of moral and other objections, and criminalisation of these activities.

"With this in mind, the decision to legalise and regulate the sex industry is a pragmatic one with the intention of limiting its impact on the community; minimising risks to the health, safety and welfare of sex workers and clients; and combating opportunities for the infiltration of organised crime and official corruption."



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