Street-Based Sex Work Laws

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This page has been fact checked by a community legal servicePlease note Sex Work Law Reform Victoria does not provide legal advice. For more information about sex work laws, please see our legislation page. For legal advice contact your local community legal service

Sex Work Law Reform Victoria expressly disclaims any liability to any person of any action taken or not taken in reliance on the contents of this document.


Street-Based Sex Work

You are a street-based sex worker if you meet your clients in a public place (outdoors).

Key Point

In the ‘Law’ column below, SWA refers to the Sex Work Act 1994 (Vic).

In the ‘Penalty’ column below, there are a range of penalties that can be imposed depending on whether you have committed the offence before.

Street-Based Sex Work – What’s Legal?




You can’t meet or talk to clients about prices or services in a public place

Up to 1-6 months’ jail;

Up to $908.70 – $4543.50 fine

(up to 5-25 penalty units)

s 13(2) of SWA

You can’t meet or talk to clients about prices or services in a church or other place of worship, a hospital, a school or other children service, a public place where children regularly go (like a playground)

Up to 1-6 months’ jail;

Up to $1,817.40 – $10,904.40 fine

(up to 10-60 penalty units)

s13(1) of SWA

SWA = Sex Work Act 1994 (Vic)

Fines updated annually on 1 July

Between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022 one penalty unit = $181.74

We work with a local community legal service in the development of our legal guides. The legal guides are the result of a robust resource development process involving:

  • fact-checking;
  • community consultation;
  • needs assessment;
  • content development;
  • focus testing;
  • peer review

In resource development we involve community to ensure that resources meet the needs identified by sex workers themselves, that the resources are accessible, and we work in partnership with legal professionals to ensure accuracy, which we believe is crucial for community safety.

© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2021

Last updated: 1 July, 2021