Archbishop brands Tasmanian sex industry bill deficient

Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has strongly supported calls by the community-based Coalition Against Legalised Brothels for the Tasmanian Parliament to reject the Sex Industry Regulation Bill 2005.

The bill, which was introduced into State Parliament on Tuesday by Attorney-General Judy Jackson, aims to both legalise and regulate the sex industry in Tasmania, for the protection of those who work in it and the wider community.

But Archbishop Doyle said yesterday that, based on the impact of similar legislation in other States and around the world, the Bill would not deliver the beneficial outcomes claimed for it.

"Similar legislation has been tried and failed elsewhere in Australia and overseas," Archbishop Doyle said. "All the available evidence points to it failing here as well and it is no wonder that States like Western Australia and South Australia have rejected similar attempts to add respectability to an industry that is based on the exploitation of women.

"I fully support the efforts of the Coalition Against Legalised Brothels to have this legislation thrown out and I call on all members of the State Parliament to listen to the community on this issue," he said. "I especially call on Legislative Councillors to demonstrate their traditional independence by exposing the many deficiencies in this legislation and refusing to allow it to become law."

Archbishop Doyle said similar legislation in other States had failed to prevent trafficking in women and children, failed to protect young girls from being forced to work in brothels, failed to keep criminal elements out of the industry and failed to deliver the health outcomes that have been claimed.

"In addition, this Bill will not prevent brothels being set up next door to schools or in any residential street in any town or city in Tasmania, so the simple question for all Members of Parliament to answer is whether or not they would be happy to have a legal brothel operating next door to their own family home or next to the school attended by their children or grandchildren," he said.

"Tasmania would be better off following the example of Sweden which introduced legislation in 1999 to prosecute the men who used brothels and backed it up by establishing rehabilitation processes for the women exploited by the sex industry."

Sex industry bill doesn't measure up (Archdiocese of Hobart 8/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Hobart
Judy Jackson MHA: Sex Industry Regulation Bill 2004 (Tasmanian Government Media Release 7/6/05)

9 Jun 2005