Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg.
Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg. File

Illegal sex trade 'rife' in city

NOT enough is being done to crack down on illegal prostitution Lawrence Springborg has heard from a Warwick legal sex worker.

The escort, who goes by the name of "Jennifer" met with the Member for Southern Downs in his Rose City office yesterday to discuss the issue and voice her concerns about the illegal side of the industry.

Mr Springborg said he felt Labor had brought in the Queensland Prostitution Act with grand promises of ending illegal prostitution when it had done nothing of the kind.

"Back in the 80s it was alleged this industry was being swept under the carpet so they legalised it," he said.

"Well it has been legalised and it fair to say it is still operating illegally anyway."

Jennifer said she had sent a submission to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) about the Queensland Prostitution Act.

The Act allows sole operators to work alone either in a house or out of motel rooms, but those operators are not allowed to work for someone else or with another person - except a crowd controller or body guard who is not a sex worker.

"One of the reasons I went into the industry was because of the legislation," Jennifer said.

But she said there were issues with the legislation and felt sole operators should be registered and carry health certificates.

Jennifer has spoken out before about reform needed in the industry.

She said after years of frustration she decided to submit to the CMC when the opportunity arose but was disappointed when they decided not publish it.

"They sent me an email saying they were not going to publish it," she said.

Mr Springborg criticised the State Government for not doing enough about illegal prostitution.

"They suggest by doing these things that they are going to create some kind of utopia of legal prostitution," he said.

"But what we have is a flourishing legal and flourishing illegal industry working along side each other. They need to provide some sanctions and pursuit of those people who are illegal operators."

Mr Springborg said the ramifications of operating illegally were "of no deterrence".

"Licensed brothels pay thousands of dollars, why bother when you are only fined a few hundred dollars for operating illegally," he said.

"It's a still a worthwhile risk if it's only a fine of one hour's work."

Jennifer told Mr Springborg she thought illegal prostitution was rife in Warwick with people licensed as sole operators but really working within groups and along side drug distributors.

"It became obvious the industry is based around drugs," Jennifer said.

Mr Springborg agreed there was an association between the two industries.

"There is a lot of money to be made in illegal lucrative operations for distribution of drugs," he said.

While Mr Springborg didn't specifically comment on whether he thought illegal prostitution was rampant in Warwick, he said he did agree illegal prostitution was an issue in Queensland.

"My concern is if it is happening, complaints with evidence should be taken seriously and properly investigated by the appropriate authorities," he said.

In November last year, an out-of-town sex worker was ejected from a local caravan park and rejected from other Warwick accommodation.

But that hasn't been an issue for many out-of-town prostitutes with an increasing number of them visiting the Rose City during the last 12 months, Jennifer said.

 

Legalities

  • Sole operators can legally operate out of a hotel, motel or house.
  • It is illegal to work with someone else or share profits with another.
  • Sole operators can have a body guard or licensed crowd controller who is not a sex worker, with them.


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