Who We Are
We are an independent non-partisan volunteer group led by sex workers, lobbying for the full decriminalisation of consensual adult sex work in the Australian state of Victoria.
22 February 2023 Press Release: Explosive Emails Expose MP’s Extreme Right Wing Views
An FOI request has revealed shocking emails from new Victorian Liberal politician Moira Deeming, who is on a Christian crusade against sex workers and the transgender community.
A freedom of information request from Sex Work Law Reform Victoria uncovered almost 100 emails from the former Melton City Councillor which attack legal sex work, transgender rights, abortion laws, and opposing Victoria’s ban on gay conversion therapy. These emails, sent between 2020 and 2022, frequently invoke Deeming’s fundamentalist Christian views. The emails were provided to Sex Work Law Reform Victoria by Melton City Council.
The dozens of emails reveal Moira Deeming’s intent to change Victoria’s abortion laws, her fierce opposition to LGBTIQ rights and sex workers’ rights. Overwhelmingly, she attacks the transgender rights movement.
Included among the emails is a detailed plan for an internal (not intended for the public) speech to a Liberal Party branch meeting.
This cache of emails is a warning of what can happen when hardliners secure endorsement from a major political party. These emails reveal extreme positions which are outside the political mainstream, for example, mandatory STI testing for all sex work clients prior to each visit to a sex worker, or her claim that she won Liberal pre-selection due to divine intervention:
“I did not win [Liberal Party preselection] on merit….I won because God arranged it.”
“The reason we initiated this FOI process is because we believe Mrs Deeming is seeking to destroy popular and progressive Victorian Government reforms aimed at protecting a range of human rights. These emails highlight the danger of electing people who seek to bring their religious views into politics”, says Lisa Dallimore, President of Sex Work Law Reform Victoria. “Deeming presents a risk to women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and to the LGBTIQ and sex worker communities. The documents are a reminder of why voters and political parties need to know candidates’ real views before an election.”
The Victorian Liberal Party dumped Bernie Finn last year for his extreme views on abortion – Sex Work Law Reform Victoria suggests they also dump Deeming in the same way.
Some examples of the emails revealed by our FOI request:
- email by Moira Deeming dated 21 October 2021 “Council officers do [not] have any of the required weapons, combat training, psychological training, or legislated enforcement powers that would be required to ensure any level of safety in this industry [the sex industry] at all.”
- undated document “I am a conservative Christian with over ten years’ experience…..loving real gay and trans people.”
Read all of Moira Deeming’s emails in full here:
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria Inc.
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria is a not-for-profit sex workers’ rights organisation led by Victorian sex workers. Founded in 2018, the organisation advocates to all levels of government regarding the legal rights of sex workers in Victoria. Sex Work Law Reform Victoria has put sex workers’ rights on the political agenda in Victoria, Australia, paving the way for the passage of the Sex Work Decriminalisation Act 2022 (Vic).
Explosive Emails Expose Right Wing MPs Extreme Views PDF
Read more sex industry related news on our 2022 News page.
Hooray! Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill Passes in Victoria
Press Release: 10 February, 2022
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria celebrates this passing of the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 (Vic) by the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament. This historical move makes the Australian state of Victoria only the fourth jurisdiction in the world to decriminalise sex work. The decriminalisation of sex work provides sex workers with access to the same workplace health and safety protections as other Victorians.
This is a momentous achievement for Victorian sex workers and their supporters, who have have been engaged in advocacy and activism to bring about these legal reforms since the 1970s. Sex Work Law Reform Victoria thanks Victorian sex workers for their ongoing commitment to achieving decriminalisation.
The Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 decriminalises sex work, repealing over the next two years criminal laws associated with consensual adult sex work. This is an important first step in acknowledging sex work as work, allowing for progressive changes to health, planning and other laws to align the regulation of sex work with similar service based businesses. Sex workers will be closely monitoring the progress of these future reforms. Crucially, and uniquely, the bill strengthens anti-discrimination protections available to sex workers.
“In particular, we would like to thank the leader of the Reason Party, Fiona Patten, who has campaigned tirelessly for sex workers’ rights in Victoria and previously in the Australian Capital Territory. We also thank Liberal Democrats MP’s David Limbrick and Tim Quilty for listening to us and hearing our issues and concerns throughout the process of decriminalising sex work,” says Sex Work Law Reform Victoria president, Lisa Dallimore. “Special thanks go to veteran sex workers’ rights advocate Cheryl Overs, who spearheaded Sex Workers’ Voices Victoria’s extensive consultation and subsequent detailed submission to Fiona Patten’s 2020 Sex Work Review.”
This is a huge win for Victorian sex workers, adding momentum to similar campaigns for the decriminalisation of sex work across Australia and the world. The passage of this bill demonstrates Victoria’s commitment to valuing sex workers as equally deserving of rights and protections as other members of the community.
We applaud the Victorian Government for listening to sex workers and taking this bold step. Sex work is work and it is encouraging to see the law finally reflect this.
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria Inc.
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria is a not-for-profit sex workers’ rights organisation led by Victorian sex workers. Founded in 2018, the organisation advocates to all levels of government regarding the legal rights of sex workers in Victoria. Sex Work Law Reform Victoria has put sex workers’ rights on the political agenda in Victoria, Australia, paving the way for the passage of this bill.
Press Release: PDF
Press Release URL
Watch Fiona Patten, Second Reading Speech on the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021
Banks Discriminate against Sex Workers
Find out which banks cut off sex workers:
Financial Institution: Which Banks
Is it lawful to discriminate against sex workers? Find out here:
Reporting Financial Discrimination Page
Current Sex Work Laws
While current laws allow a minority of sex workers to operate legally, the majority remain criminalised.
Why Do the Laws Need to be Changed?
We believe all workers deserve a safe and healthy work environment.
Victoria’s current sex work laws have a negative impact on the health and safety of sex workers. Evidence shows that the full decriminalisation of sex work is the best way to protect their wellbeing.
What We Do
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria advocates for:
- the full decriminalisation of consensual adult sex work in the Australian state of Victoria
- the removal of institutional discrimination against Victorian sex workers
We recognise that sex work is work and that criminal laws should not be applied to activities conducted between consenting adults.
Fiona Patten and Lisa from Sex Work Law Reform Victoria were interviewed on Australia’s only sex work radio show, Behind Closed Doors to provide an update on Victoria’s 2020 sex work Review.
We oppose the set of sex work laws known as the Nordic Model (Swedish Model) . The Nordic Model criminalises all clients of all sex workers.
Q: Isn’t sex work already decriminalised in Victoria?
A: No. Victoria has a licensing model of sex work laws, which differ significantly from the decriminalised model of sex work legislation.
Q: Isn’t sex work already legalised in Victoria?
A: Yes and no. The existing Victorian laws are overly complex and criminalise most sex workers.
Q: What about human trafficking in the sex industry?
A: Sex work and human trafficking are entirely different. We condemn any form of human trafficking. Australia has in place powerful laws that criminalise human trafficking in all industries, including the sex industry. We support the current anti-trafficking laws. Read more on our Human Trafficking page.
Q. Doesn’t decriminalisation encourage more people to take up sex work?
No. Surveys showed that the number of sex workers in New Zealand remained static following the introduction of decriminalisation.
Q: Does decriminalisation allow human trafficking?
A: No. Human trafficking remains a criminal offence.
Q: Doesn’t decriminalising sex work lead to more human trafficking?
A: Not at all. Where sex work is mostly decriminalised, in New South Wales, the Northern Territory¹ and in New Zealand, evidence shows no increase in human trafficking in the sex industry.
Q: Do we support the Nordic Model (Swedish Model) of criminalising sex work clients?
A: No. The Nordic Model (Swedish Model) of sex work is favoured by some anti-sex work activists and applies blanket criminal penalties to all clients of all sex workers. We view sex work as work and support Amnesty International’s view that full decriminalisation of sex work is the best way to prevent violence against sex workers. Sex workers across Australia strongly endorse full decriminalisation and report that it creates safer and healthier working conditions for sex workers.
Q: Are we mainly focused on reforming street sex work laws?
A: No. We advocate removing criminal penalties for all types of consensual adult sex work in Victoria. This includes brothels, massage parlours, escort agencies, private sex work and street sex work.
In association with Sex Work Law Reform Victoria, film students at Deakin University present ‘Men at Work’, a six minute documentary about male sex work in Melbourne, Australia. The film tells the story of a young and determined male escort. For more information about this film, see the ‘Men at Work’ FaceBook page.
- No evidence from the Northern Territory, which only recently decriminalised sex work, in late 2019.
© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2023
Last updated: 22 February, 2023