How the Victorian Parliament Works

Sex Work Law Reform Victoria believes the best way to advance the interests of marginalised groups is for those groups to become politically aware and active. Although the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 (Vic) has already passed the parliament, there will be other unrelated bills which will affect sex workers.  Therefore, sex workers must continue to monitor the parliament and continue to be engaged in political processes.

A successful bill is one which meets the needs of the community it affects. This is best achieved if sex workers are involved in the formulation of a bill and are active, along with allies, in encouraging politicians to vote for it.

Victorian Parliament Spring St
the public can watch debate in the parliament (Photo: Simon Shluter)

The Victorian Parliament

The Victorian Parliament has the power to vote bills into law, including sex work laws. The government is currently the Labor Party, a left of centre party which is supportive of sex workers’ rights.

The leader of the government is known as the premier. Our current premier is Daniel Andrews.

Two Houses of Parliament

The Victorian Parliament consists of two houses: the Lower House (the Legislative Assembly) and the Upper House (the Legislative Council).

The Lower House has 88 members. The Victorian Labor Party currently holds 56 of the Lower House seats, meaning Labor holds a majority in the Lower House. The Upper House has 40 members. In the Upper House, Labor holds 15 seats thus does not hold a majority. To pass into law, a bill requires a majority of members present in parliament to vote in favour. Labor will therefore need the support of some of the opposition or crossbench to pass bills in the Upper House

© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2023

Last updated: 17 April 2023