Political Parties

Where do Victorian Political Parties Stand?

In the Victorian parliament, the following political parties take these respective stances on sex work law:

Labor Party (The Government)

According to the The Australian Labor Party’s Victorian Branch Platform 2018 Clause 5.2.2:

‘Victorian Labor is committed to strengthening human rights and equal opportunity for all Victorians. 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.’¹

Daniel Andrews Labor Party, Victorian Labor Party
Daniel Andrews is the leader of the Labor Party and the Premier (Picture: AAP)

However, in late 2019 Labor announced a slightly different approach to law reform. A press release announced that Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Fiona Patten would lead a six month review to consider the decriminalisation of sex work in order to achieve better public health and human rights outcomes. The six-month review will commence early in 2020, with Ms Patten to provide recommendations to government before the end of 2020. Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz said,

"Fiona will make recommendations to the government, we will then consider all of the recommendations that Fiona makes to government and proceed to introduce legislation.” ²

Matthew Guy, Opposition Leader, Victorian Liberal Party

Liberal Party (The Opposition)

The Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division) does not hold a formal position on sex work. Despite the Nordic Model of sex work laws being unanimously opposed by all sex workers’ rights organisations in Australia, in 2018 the Liberal Party’s Victorian State Council passed a resolution to adopt the Nordic Model. Resolutions are NOT binding on the parliamentary party.

On 2 July 2021, The Age newspaper reported on the Victorian Liberal Party’s position on an anticipated sex work decriminalisation bill:

The state opposition refused to state its position on decriminalising the industry, but in a statement a spokesman said: ‘‘We would have to see the proposed bill before the made comment or decided on a position.” ’

Victorian Greens

The Victorian Greens support the full decriminalisation of sex work. Their policy  states

Consensual adult sex work should be decriminalised.’

On 13 August 2021, The Age reported that Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam had provided in principle support for a Victorian Government proposal to decriminalise sex work over two years. 

Samantha Ratnam, Victorian Greens, Greens Leader
Samantha Ratnam is leader of the Victorian Greens

 

Reason Party (formerly the Australian Sex Party)

Support the full decriminalisation of sex work. Their policy states

Decriminalise sex-work, with best practice sex industry regulation’

Fiona Patten, Reason Party, Australian Sex Party
Fiona Patten is with the Reason Party. She is a former sex worker.

 

Liberal Democrats

Support the full decriminalisation of sex work. Their policy  states

No criminalisation of sex-work involving adults.

David Limbrick, Liberal Democrats, Crossbench
David Limbrick represents the Liberal Democrats (Photo: David Limbrick)

David Limbrick expressed his views on sex work regulation while being interviewed on Australia’s only sex work radio show ‘Behind Closed Doors’. Hear two sex workers interview Mr Limbrick on the ‘Behind Closed Doors’ podcast page. 

 

Animal Justice Party

The party currently has no specific policy pertaining to sex work.

However, on 13 August 2021, The Age reported that Animal Justice Party leader Andy Meddick had provided in principle support for a Victorian Government proposal to decriminalise sex work over two years. 

Andy Meddick crossbench, Animal Justice Party
Andy Meddick represents the Animal Justice Party (Photo: Victorian Parliament)

In 2019 Andy Meddick expressed his views on sex work regulation while being interviewed on Australia’s only sex work radio show ‘Behind Closed Doors’. Hear two sex workers interview Mr Meddick on the ‘Behind Closed Doors’ podcast page. 

 

The Nationals

No policy pertaining to sex work.

Transport Matters Party

No policy pertaining to sex work.

Derren Hinch’s Justice Party

No policy pertaining to sex work.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party

No policy pertaining to sex work.

Sustainable Australia

No policy pertaining to sex work.

  1. Victorian Branch Australian Labor Party, Platform 2018, page 87, Platform 5.2.2
    <https://www.viclabor.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Platform-2018-Web.pdf>
  2. Quote from Minister for Consumer Affairs, 15 January 2020

© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2021

Last updated: 28 September 2021