According to the WA State Labor Party, brothels should be allowed to employ prostitutes, without records of proof of age, residency status or tax file numbers
Attorney General Christian Porter said Opposition Leader Eric Ripper’s position that brothel managers should not be required to keep identifying records of prostitutes was absurd and fundamentally irresponsible.
Speaking today on 6PR, Mr Ripper said his primary opposition to the Government Bill was that it required brothel managers to take down information on prostitutes working for that brothel.
Mr Ripper said under the Government legislation ‘…the brothel owner will still have to collect information about the people that work for that brothel… So, you’ll have a situation where there’s no escape for a sex worker if they stay legal, but to give their information to someone.’
“The WA State Labor Party believes brothels should be allowed to employ people to work as prostitutes, without having a record of proof of age, residency status or tax file numbers,” Mr Porter said.
“What Labor is essentially saying is that if a girl whose age is uncertain, or who speaks no English, is taken to a brothel to work, the owner should be able to put them to work as a prostitute without any record of their age or residency status. No identification at all.
“What that would mean is if a person faced charges for employing an underage worker, the State would have extreme difficulty showing that this breach of the law had occurred and then prosecute the manager or the brothel madam.
“It is a recipe for sex trafficking and abuse of children. In 2008 the Labor party developed a Bill that would have allowed the spread of micro-brothels into any suburban street in our State. Now in 2011 they are opposing prostitutes having to even provide a record of their age to brothel owners or the State Government.
“While we would listen to any sensible views Labor may have on registration, the Government would never allow a system which made it easier for brothels to employ underage persons.
“We have worked very hard to establish a scheme that puts first the safety of the community to live in peace without nuisance brothels in their streets; safeguards the health, safety and privacy of women working as prostitutes; and assists them to leave the industry.
“The Bill contains protections against misuse of any information, including a requirement that licensed brothel operators retain the information only in hard copy, and destroy it following the end of a person’s employment. Strict criminal penalties apply if that information is misused.
“Labor clearly does not care about the spread of brothels in our streets and they obviously have no intention of protecting the health and safety of women in the industry.”
Significant changes to the Liberal-National Government’s Prostitution Bill 2011 based on public consultation can be found at http://www.justice.wa.gov.au
Attorney General's office - 9222 8800