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.
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
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?
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.
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.
Former sex worker and sex industry lobbyist Fiona Patten announces the formation of the Australian Sex Party. The party described itself as a civil libertarian alternative with a focus on sex workers’ rights.