“We can’t access Police if we have crimes committed against us, for fear of prosecution” – Sharon, South Australian Sex Industry Network

Often regarded as the oldest job in the world, sex work involves a complicated web of legal issues in Australia, and South Australia particularly. Numerous pushes have been made to legalise it here over the years, but is it about time it actually gets done?

There is no universal legislation for sex work in Australia. Some states, like Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have legalised sex work to some extent, whether confined to brothels or private escorting. Tasmania and the Northern Territory allow it in a more limited way, while in South Australia and Western Australia, it is still by and large illegal.

One survey conducted in Western Australia found that sex workers felt their work enhanced their well-being, however the illegal nature of their work meant they couldn’t readily access support from organisations like the Police. So is it time that SA fully decriminalises sex work? Should the laws surrounding it be a little clearer?

Wavelength spoke with Sharon and Kat from the South Australian Sex Industry Network, and Associate Professor Linda Selvey from the University of Queensland, about the issue.

When we threw the convo to you guys, we got some interesting responses – including an actual sex worker, and a sitting member of parliament! Listen to that convo below:

Please note – Wavelength did reach out to SAPOL, who declined to be a part of this story.

Airdate: December 3, 2018

Reporters: David Simmons & Arjuna Ganesan

Photo: Unsplash

Listen to Wavelength live and join the convos about Adelaide you should be having, every Monday night from 6pm on Fresh 92.7.