Event: Fixing Fitzgerald – Queensland’s failed sex industry policy

Please join the QUT School of Justice, Respect Inc and #DecrimQLD, for a special event to mark the 30th anniversary of the handing down of the Fitzgerald Inquiry Report in 1989. The event brings together six leading academic and industry experts to discuss sex industry law reform in Queensland.

3 July 2019

5.30pm for a 6.00pm to 8.00pm presentation
Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block, QUT Gardens Point

Register here

Abstract

The 1989 Fitzgerald Inquiry found excessive levels of police corruption in relation to sex work, recommending significant reforms and civil regulation to remove police from a regulatory role. Yet in 2019, thirty years from the date the Fitzgerald report was tabled in parliament, these reforms remain unfinished business.
Despite the findings of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, sex workers are still monitored by police today. At least 80% of the sex industry remain under police regulation and are controlled by legislation including the Prostitution Act 1999 (Qld) and the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld). The legislation criminalises sex workers working in pairs and massage parlours. Police powers including immunity when undercover have been extended, and police enforce advertising wording compliance. Is this efficient use of police resources? Is it possible for police to be both prosecutors and protectors? What can be done to improve the safety and health of sex workers in Queensland?

Chairs

Jules Kim
Korean/Australian sex worker and CEO
Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association


Mark Lauchs
Associate Professor
QUT School of Justice

Speakers

Candi Forrest – A Brisbane local and prominent commentator on sex work policy who lives to tell the pre and post-Fitzgerald tale. Founding member of Respect Inc. and member of the Sexual Health Ministerial Advisory Committee.

Dr Lisa Fitzgerald – A public health sociologist at the School of Public Health, University of Queensland who has lead research projects on the impact of decriminalisation on the health and safety of sex workers in New Zealand and authored, ‘Taking the Crime out of Sex Work’ (2010).

Elyse Coles – A sex worker with insight into the Fitzgerald times and current regulation whose passion is equity for sex workers, particularly trans sex workers. Spokesperson for the DecrimQLD Campaign.

Dr Katie Hail-Jares – Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Griffith Criminology Institute and editor of Challenging Perspectives on Street-Based Sex Work (Temple University Press).

Vickki Boon – Speaker from the Respect Inc. Asian Focus Peer Education Project on current policing approaches to Asian & migrant sex workers in Queensland.

Dr Erin O’Brien – Senior Lecturer in the QUT School of Justice researching policy and advocacy surrounding sex work, human trafficking and migration and author of The Politics of Sex Trafficking (Palgrave 2013) and Challenging the Human Trafficking Narrative (Routledge 2019).