“Policies can only work when you have the information from the community itself. That’s why so many interventions fail. It sounds like a good idea but when you put it into practice, it does not work.”
New Zealand academic, 2016 1
Rachel Payne, South Eastern Metro Region (Legalise Cannabis Party)
Rachel Payne has previously worked as a burlesque dancer and was the General Manager of Australia’s adult industry association, the Eros Association. Entering parliament in December 2022, Payne publicly supports the decriminalisation of sex work. The Victorian Government will need to support of crossbenchers like Ms Payne in order to pass legislation in the Upper House.
Georgie Purcell, Northern Victoria Region (Animal Justice Party)
Georgie Purcell previously briefly worked in adult entertainment, something she described as ‘sex work’ and is affiliated with a pro-sex work political party. During the 2018 – 2022 term of parliament, we rated the Animal Justice Party ‘Excellent’ for sex workers’ rights’.
Ms Purcell has written about the harsh judgement she experienced when her involvement in sex work became more widely know.
The Victorian Government will need to support of crossbenchers like Ms Purcell in order to pass legislation in the Upper House.
Danny Pearson, Member for Essendon and Minister for Consumer Affairs
In December 2022 the Victorian Premier announced that Danny Pearson will be the new Minister for Consumer Affairs. The portfolio is responsible for licensing sex industry businesses until 1 December 2023.
Following the passage of the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 (Vic) in early 2022, the Business Licensing Authority will no longer license sex industry business managers or owners after 1 December 2023. After this date Mr Pearson’s portfolio will no longer directly relate to sex work.
Mary-Anne Thomas, Member for Macedon and Minister for Health (Labor Party)
Mary-Anne Thomas holds the Lower House seat of Macedon, in regional Victorian district north west of Melbourne. Mary-Anne Thomas became Minister in June 2022, taking over from the former Minister, Martin Foley. She has been in Parliament since 2014.
Sonya Kilkenny, Member for Carrum and Minister for Planning (Labor Party)
Sonya Kilkenny holds the Lower House seat of Carrum, in Melbourne’s outer south eastern suburbs. Ms Kilkenny became Minister for Planning in December 2022, shortly after the state election. Her portfolio is significant when it comes to sex workers’ rights, as she has the power to amend planning schemes which regulate brothels and home- based sex work. The previous Minister for Planning amended planning schemes to eliminate discrimination against the sex industry.
Ms Kilkenny has been in Parliament since 2015.
David Limbrick, South Eastern Metropolitan Region (Liberal Democrats Party)
David Limbrick was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 2018, with a commitment to uphold the principles of individual liberty. Such principles oppose government interference in the sex lives of consenting adults – including adult sex workers. As such, Mr Limbrick and his libertarian party support the full decriminalisation of sex work. A former financial services industry worker, Mr Limbrick has also taken an interest in calling out the financial discrimination that sex workers experience on the part of the banks. On the 26 November 2019 Mr Limbrick introduced a sex work decriminalisation motion into the Upper House. The following day the Victorian government announced that a sex work review would commence in 2020.
In 2019, Mr Limbrick was interviewed by two sex workers on Australia’s only sex work radio show, ‘Behind Closed Doors’. He discussed the principles of libertarianism, sex work, nudity, financial discrimination, and more. In February 2022, David Limbrick helped to decriminalise sex work in Victoria by voting ‘yes’ for the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 (Vic).
Daniel Andrews, Member for Mulgrave (Labor Party)
Daniel Andrews is Premier of Victoria and so has the most influence over which issues his government addresses. His seat of Mulgrave is in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. Upon winning the 2018 state election by a landslide (nicknamed the ‘Danslide’), the Premier declared his government the
“most progressive Government in the nation”.
Attorney General Jacyln Symes, Member for Northern Victoria (Labor Party)
Jaclyn Symes is the newly appointed Attorney General, a role key to changing Victorian legislation. Ms Symes replaced outgoing Attorney General, Jill Hennessy on 22 December, 2020. With the strong backing of the Northern Territory Attorney General Natasha Fyles, in November 2019 the Northern Territory decriminalised sex work2 .
Jaclyn Symes electorate of Northern Victoria encompasses the regional towns of Bendigo, Shepparton and Mildura.
- Rottier, J., Decriminalization of Sex Work: The New Zealand Model An Analysis of the Integrative Sex Industry Policy in New Zealand (PhD, Utrecht University, 2018) 86
- Paul Gregoire, NT sex workers finally have decriminalisation: An interview with SWOP NT coordinator Leanne Melling (12 December 2019) Sydney Criminal Lawyers
© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2023
Last updated: 21 April 2023