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NT decriminalises sex work after SA kills own Bill

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Legislation to fully decriminalise sex work has passed the Northern Territory parliament, weeks after the South Australian parliament killed the latest Bill attempting to decriminalise sex work in this state.

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The NT changes allow the sex industry to operate within all existing laws that apply to other businesses including employment, occupational health and safety, workers compensation, taxation and discrimination.

“All Territorians deserve to be safe at work. Being a sex worker is a recognised profession in the NT, but until today workers have had no protection and minimal rights,” NT Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said.

“I acknowledge this bill and subsequent debate has been contentious for some, but the ultimate goal is better health and safety outcomes for sex workers.”

The legislation decriminalises the sex industry in order to improve the health and safety of sex workers.

Previously, laws covering sex work were inconsistent with some aspects subject to licensing and others still considered a criminal offence.

The new legislation will be reviewed in five years.

The SA Bill, originally aimed at fully decriminalising sex work but then changed to include amendments opposing full decriminalisation, was defeated in the House of Assembly on November 13.

Bill supporters said the defeat meant SA sex workers would have to continue working under criminal laws, without any industrial, health and safety protections.

-with AAP

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