Escorts and Australian Law: State by State

Escorts and Australian Law: State by State

Laws governing prostitution vary across the states and territories in Australia. The only thing in common is the law against child prostitution. The legal age for sex worker is 18. Employing a person under 18 as a sex worker or a receptionist for an agency is punishable by law. It is a crime to force a child to participate in sex work; benefit from child prostitution and allow premises to be used for child prostitution. The clients of under-age sex worker face a criminal offense.

Generally soliciting, procuring and patronizing in public, near residential homes, school, church, hospital and places that are frequented by children is illegal. Maximum Penalty is 20 penalty units.



New South Wales decriminalized prostitution. It is legal to work as an escort, sex worker and run a sex industry in NSW. The legal age for sex worker is 18 but the under- age sex worker is not committing an offence only the person who employs them. Clients must be over 16, person under 18 years are not allowed to enter a sex service premises.

Soliciting near residential homes, school, church or hospital is illegal.



Street work and soliciting in a public place in order to get work is illegal.

Working privately is legal. Private workers are considered to be escorts and not required to register with the police or get a license. They are also free to advertise in papers. But they are not allowed to work for anyone or with anyone. When more than one person is working it is considered to be an Escort agency and must apply trough the Licensing commission for a license. Escort operator must arrange police certificate for all the staff.

Brothels are illegal in Northern Territory.


Working privately and sex work in a licensed brothel is legal in Queensland.

Unlicensed brothels or parlors, street workers, two sex workers sharing one premises (even if the workers both work alone in split shifts), and out-calls provided by a licensed brothel are illegal. Organizing a double booking with another worker is also illegal.

It is a criminal offence to “provide” any kind of commercial sex without condom use.


Soliciting or loitering in a public for prostitution is illegal however clients are rarely charged with soliciting offences.

Allowing a place to be used as a brothel is an offense.

“One-woman brothel” not an offence.

A client’s home is not considered to be a brothel even if a client uses sex work services at their residence regularly.

Hotels and motels are not considered a brothel unless it is let out on a regular basis for the purpose of commercial sex.



Self employed sex work is legal in Tasmania.

It is illegal to operate, own or manage a brothel. Police may enter a “brothel” without a warrant in some circumstances.

It is legal to be a client of “self employed” sex worker.

It is illegal to be client of a brothel.

Not using a condom is an offence for either a sex worker or a client.


Street sex work is illegal in Victoria.

Brothels are legal but limited to 6 rooms only, and must be licensed. Brothels need to be 100 meters away from any home and 200 meters away from any church, school, hospital, place of worship, children’s services centre or any place where children spend time regularly.

Small Owner-operated brothel is exempted from licensing.

Private escorts and small owner operator are exempted from licensing.


Soliciting and loitering for prostitution is illegal in West Australia.

Owning or managing a brothel is illegal.

Tenant, lessee or occupier who permits premises to be used for prostitution will be prosecuted.