Sex trade bill withdrawn from SA Legislative Council, Christian group rejoices

Published 28 November 2012
FamilyVoice Australia has welcomed the announcement that a private member's bill to decriminalise the sex trade will be withdrawn from the SA Legislative Council.

The office of status of women minister Hon Gail Gago announced on Tuesday that she will no longer be seeking a vote on her Sex Work Reform Bill tomorrow. Instead, she will withdraw it altogether.

"A similar bill by Steph Key was defeated in the SA House of Assembly on 15 November," said FamilyVoice national research officer Ros Phillips. "We rejoice that the failure of both bills has put an end to an attempt to bring in 'open slather' prostitution and pimping. Similar laws in NSW and elsewhere have resulted in a boom in legal and illegal brothels as well as street prostitution. They are out of control."

A recent letter in Adelaide's Sunday Mail by former prostitute and madam Linda Watson pointed out the grim realities of the prostitution trade ("Real story is about pain", 18/11/12).

"Prostitution pays well, but for many girls it is quickly spent on the high life, gambling and drugs to cope with the pain – including cannabis, speed, cocaine or heroin. A few manage to pay off the mortgage and invest in property. Most don't," Ms Watson wrote.

"The failure of this legislation is good news," Ros Phillips said. "Our prostitution laws certainly need updating to deal with the epidemic of sex trafficking (see ABC 'Four Corners' program on 10/10/11) – but decriminalisation and legalisation of brothels interstate have only made the problem worse.

"Our state governments should look at the Nordic model which criminalises exploitation – including pimping, procuring, brothel keeping and buying sex – and provides an effective exit program to help women leave the trade."

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