AustraliaNew Zealand

The Law


Prostitution laws in Australia are not one simple answer to whether prostitution is legal in Australia. Each state and territory has their own laws regarding sex work.
For in-depth up-to-date information about the laws regarding sex work in any particular state we recommend you visit the Australian Sex Workers Association website here:
Following is a summary of the situation in each state and territory:

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Sex work has been legal in the ACT since 1992, since the enactment of what is known as “Anna’s Law”.
Sex workers are required to register with the Office of Regulatory Services. Further, owners of brothels or escort agencies are also required to register.
For more, ACT specific information, please visit:

New South Wales (NSW)

New South Wales decriminalised prostitution in 1979.
Brothels are legal in NSW under the Summary Offences Act 1988.
Although prostitution has been decriminalised in NSW, some activities associated with sex work are illegal. Examples of these are:

  • Unless you own or manage a brothel, living on the earnings of a sex worker is illegal.
  • You are not allowed to cause or induce sex work.
  • Using a premise advertised as being a massage parlour or sauna as a brothel.
  • Soliciting sex work near a school.
  • Advertising sex work.
  • Child prostitution.

For more, NSW specific information, please visit:

Northern Territory (NT)

The Prostitution Regulation Act 2004 made sex work illegal in the NT. Notwithstanding this, those who operate an escort agency business may register with the NT State Police.
For more, NT specific information, please visit:

Queensland (QLD)

The state of Queensland has two limbs of sex work that are legal:

  • Private sex work. This practitioner is allowed to advertise their business, and
  • Licensed brothels.

It has been reported that only 10% of sex work in Queensland occurred in licensed brothels.
For more, QLD specific information, please visit:

South Australia (SA)

Brothels are illegal in South Australia, under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 and the Summary Offences Act 1953.
For more, SA specific information, please visit:

Tasmania (TAS)

While sex work is legal, no person may employ or otherwise control or profit from the work of individual sex workers.
For more, TA specific information, please visit:

Victoria (VIC)

Engaging in sex work on the street in Victoria is illegal and has been so for a number of years.
For more, VIC specific information, please visit:

Western Australia (WA)

Sex work itself is legal, but many activities associated with it, such as pimping and running brothels, are illegal.
For more, WA specific information, please visit: or  


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