Sir – Without any fanfare, the Gunner Government has legalised the operation of sex businesses in the Territory’s residential areas.
We know this is a highly controversial decision and it is unsurprising that the Gunner Government hasn’t been open and transparent about it.
Whatever your attitude towards sex work in general, Territorians have told me they do not approve of sex services business being established where there are children, seniors, and vulnerable people living.
Sex services are often delivered in the evening and late at night, leading to potential disruption in urban areas through parking, noise, and the additional safety concerns.
Territorians are also concerned that the operation of a sex services business in a neighbourhood or unit block may also lead to a decrease in property values.
Under the changes, new sex services businesses of two or fewer sex workers would be allowed to operate in residential areas, so long as they are not abutting or directly opposite a preschool, school, child care or place of worship.
The definition of abutting or directly opposite is also a concern for Territorians. Does it mean a sex services business can operate diagonally opposite a school?
We also have concerns around the transfer of illegal sex services businesses, to legal, and why they have been grandfathered allowing them to fall outside their location rules.
The Opposition stands by its commitment that sex services businesses of any size must be restricted to operating, with consent, in non-residential areas.
Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro