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Perth Archbishop attacks sex Bill

A total ban on prostitution should be enforceable if the State Government believes it can control organised prostitution, according to Perth's Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey.

Archbishop Hickey said yesterday the Government's draft Prostitution Control Bill 2002 was peppered with contradictions.

"Throughout the Bill there are tacit acknowledgements that organised prostitution should not exist but the purpose of the Bill is to enable it to exist," he said. "If the Government, Parliament and the public are to believe this legislation will be successful in preventing organised illegal prostitution, then clearly it can prevent all organised prostitution."

Archbishop Hickey questioned how the proposed prostitution control board could develop strategies to deter people becoming prostitutes yet endorse the industry by licensing prostitutes and brothels.

That the board would advise prostitutes wishing to cease prostitution but make no provisions for adequate support of these women was a callous disregard for the needs of prostitutes, Archbishop Hickey said.

He welcomed restrictions on prostitution advertising.

But the Archbishop said he believed the Government was wrong to remove the right of local governments to protect their communities from prostitution.

The City of Joondalup passed a motion late last year opposing any State Government Bill which would take away the council's right to prohibit brothel activities.

The council moved to ask the State Government to amend its district planning scheme to prohibit bawdy house or brothel activities.

The West Australian

Archdiocese of Perth | Prostitution Control Bill 2002: Archbishop Hickey's Submission to WA Govt (PDF)
Prostitution Control Bill 2002 (PDF)

6 Feb 2003