24 August 2018: Scott Morrison Becomes Prime Minister

In the Australian Federal Parliament, conservative MP Scott Morrison wins a leadership spill to become Prime Minister of Australia. A committed Evangelical Christian and conservative, Mr Morrison replaces the more centrist former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, known for espousing small ‘l’ liberal values. 

Scott Morrison’s surprise ascendancy to Prime Minister marks a change in direction for the Coalition in Canberra. It signifies the victory of the socially conservative wing of the federal Coalition. 

25 July 2018: Labor Reveals Sex Work Platform

Labor reveals its Platform 2018, which outlines its priorities and goals for the coming years. Not the same as party policy, the Platform lays out ambitions and priorities rather than promises to deliver outcomes or implement certain policies. 

Clause 5.2.2 on page 87 of the Platform relates to sex work and says, 

“Labor will recommend that the Victorian Law Reform Commission consider decriminalisation of all sex work in Victoria as per other systems recognised internationally by human rights organisations.”

In practice, matters can only be referred to the Victorian Reform Commission either by community referral or by the Victorian Attorney General, Jill Hennessy. 

This places the Attorney General in a central position in the long path to sex work decriminalisation

January 2018: The Reason Party Forms

In 2009 Fiona Patten founded the Australian Sex Party. Eight years later, the party rebrands and renames the Reason Party in recognition of the fact that the party is no longer a single issue party, having helped deliver on a wide range of policy areas unrelated to sex. Some of the party’s early supporters begin to wonder: will the party remain committed to its original core issues of sex work, brothels and pornography?

February 2017: Formation of the Australian Conservatives Party

At the federal level, former Liberal Party MP, Cory Bernadi forms a new political party, the Australian Conservatives. Mr Bernadi has a longtime reputation for being a devoted Christian and hardline conservative. He states one of the reasons for his decision to form a new minor party as his ongoing dissatisfaction with the inability of the federal Coalition to consistently defend traditional conservative values. 

November 2014: 2014 Election Result

Labor Wins Government

The left leaning Victorian Labor party wins government. 

Fiona Patten Enters Parliament under The Australian Sex Party

The Sex Party succeeds in electing Fiona Patten to the Legislative Council in the Victorian Parliament, representing the Northern Metropolitan Region. A historic moment for sex workers’ rights, Fiona Patten is the first former sex worker to be elected to a state or federal parliament in Australia. 

Anti Sex Worker MP

Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins wins a seat under the banner of a minor party. Dr Carling-Jenkins, a committed Catholic, is a critic of the sex industry and endorses the Nordic Model of sex work laws which seek to eliminate the sex industry entirely.