National Party - Score 'Poor'

On 26 November 2022, Victorians will vote in a state election. The National Party of Australia – Victoria is registered as a political party to contest this election.

The party has seven sitting members across both houses of parliament (six in the Lower House, one the Upper House). We give the Nationals a ‘Poor’ rating when it comes to sex workers’ rights. Why?

In relation to the Nationals, in this term of parliament (2018 – 2022):

The Positives

  • All the Nationals members voted YES to successfully introduce new laws which classify the non-payment of sex work service fees as sexual assault or rape1

The Negatives

  • of the party’s members present in the parliamentary chamber, all but one voted against the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 (Vic). Emma Kealy refrained from voting2
  • the party’s members rarely spoke about sex work or sex workers’ rights in parliament
  • the party had no policy or platform which referred to sex work or sex workers’ rights3
  • of the party’s members who spoke about the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 (Vic), most were generally opposed to the bill during debate4
The Nationals
Peter Walsh is the Nationals leader

Authorised by Sex Work Law Reform Victoria Inc., 79-81 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Victoria, 3182

1. On 30 August 2022, the only National member in Upper House (Melina Bath) voted YES to help pass the Justice Legislation Amendment (Sexual Offences and Other Matters) Bill 2022 (Vic). Clause 5 of the bill redefines sexual consent so that the non-payment of sexual service fees will be classified as rape or sexual assault. To see Melina Bath’s voting record on this bill in the Upper House, see page 3139 of Hansard for the Legislative Council on 30 August 2022.

The voting record in the Lower House is not available as there was no division on the vote in the Lower House.

2. For the Nationals voting record on sex work decriminalisation in the Lower House, see pages 4450-4451 of Hansard for the Legislative Assembly of the Victorian Parliament on 28 October 2021

Emma Kealy was the only member refrained from voting. All other Nationals members voted no.

For the Nationals voting record on sex work decriminalisation in the Upper House, see page 267 of Hansard for the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament on 10 February 2022

3. See National’s website ‘Our Plan

4. Nationals members spoke about the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 (Vic). See Hansard for the Legislative Assembly of the Victorian Parliament on 27 October 2021. Emma Kealy (page 4291), Steph Ryan (pp 4294-4296).

This webpage is provided as a guide to help inform voters about how political parties and candidates have performed when it comes to sex workers’ rights. 

Sex Work Law Reform Victoria is not affiliated with any political party, candidate, councillor or local government. Sex Work Law Reform Victoria Inc. does not endorse or campaign for any political party or candidate. We believe all political parties can potentially work towards enhancing sex workers’ rights and we encourage all political parties to take an ongoing interest in sex workers’ rights. We have never donated to a political party, candidate, councillor or local government. We have never received money from any political parties, candidates, councillors or local governments. We have never applied for or received grants from the Victorian Government or any local government. We are a registered not-for-profit organisation.

We are not a registered charity.

We understand sex workers have a wide range of views about politics and we respect diversity of views.

© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2022

Last updated: 30 September 2022