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Advertising prostitution in Queensland

In Queensland under the Prostitution Act it is an offence to publish an advertisement for prostitution if it is not in the approved form. The Guidelines have been amended to include a provision reagarding COVID-19. These guidelines include the matters dealt with under s. 15 of the Prostitution Regulation and may be used by any…

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In Queensland under the Prostitution Act it is an offence to publish an advertisement for prostitution if it is not in the approved form. The Guidelines have been amended to include a provision reagarding COVID-19.

These guidelines include the matters dealt with under s. 15 of the Prostitution Regulation and may be used by any person who wishes to place an advertisement for publication in Queensland as well as print publishers and website developers.

Due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, the Queensland Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, has issued a series of Non-essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Directions (the Closure Directions), requiring a person who owns, controls or operates a non-essential business, activity or undertaking in Queensland, not to operate the business, activity or undertaking until the end of the declared public health emergency. Brothels became subject to the Closure Directions on 23 March 2020, massage parlours were added on 25 March, and sole operator sex workers were added on 9 April.

The Non-essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction (No. 5), which added sole operator sex workers as a non-essential business, activity or undertaking include an exception for sole operator sex workers in a specific incidence in that they may continue to provide online or phone services. An example is provided of video streaming or phone chat services. Prostitution involves close physical contact, incompatible with social distancing, and the clear intent of the Closure Direction is to ensure that sex workers do not have any physical contact with clients.

Under s. 93(2) of the Act, a person must not publish an advertisement for prostitution that is not in the approved form. Under s. 139A of the Act, the PLA may issue Guidelines about the approved form for advertisements for prostitution (Guidelines), which may provide for matters that may or may not be included in an advertisement for prostitution. An advertisement that complies with the Guidelines will be in the approved form.

The Guidelines now states…

1.6 ADVERTISING LIMITATION FOR COVID-19 (NOVEL CORONAVIRUS) PANDEMIC

  1. For the duration of the Non-essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction (No. 5) or any subsequent Non-essential business, activity and undertaking Closure Direction issued by the Chief Health Officer, any advertisement for prostitution must not state or imply that there will be any activity involving the use of one person by another for his or her sexual satisfaction involving physical contact.
  2. To the extent of any inconsistency with any other provision of the Guidelines, this provision prevails.
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