Sex work industry review (R 80)

In August 2021, the Attorney-General asked us  to conduct a review and recommend a framework for a decriminalised sex-work industry in Queensland.

Our report was tabled in Parliament on 24 April 2023. Guided by the key principles of safety, health and fairness, the QLRC’s report makes 47 recommendations for a decriminalised sex work industry in Queensland and provides a framework for implementation.

Our recommended framework treats sex work as work, not as a crime. It aims to regulate sex work as far as possible under the same general laws and in the same way as other work. Our review found that this is a better way to enhance safety, promote health and protect the human rights of people working in the industry.

Terms of Reference

Consultation Paper

Final Report

The final report was published in two volumes together with a summary report and two diagrams that explain our recommended framework.


On 24 April 2023, the Government indicated its broad support for the recommendations and announced its commitment to decriminalising sex work in Queensland.

The Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2023 was enacted on 1 September 2023. The Act implements the QLRC’s recommendations to repeal police powers under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 that:

  • authorise police to use controlled activities, controlled operations and surveillance device warrants to covertly investigate sex work related offences (recommendation 5), and
  • allow a police officer to give a move-on direction if they reasonably suspect a person is soliciting for sex-work (recommendation 2–in part).

On 15 February 2024, the Attorney-General introduced the Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 (the Bill) into parliament to give effect to the Commission’s remaining legislative recommendations. The Bill was referred to the parliament’s Housing, Big Build and Manufacturing Committee for consideration. The parliamentary committee tabled its report on 12 April 2024, recommending that the Bill be passed. The Bill had its second reading and was passed with amendment on 2 May 2024.

The Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024 (the Act) was assented to on 9 May 2024. The Act will commence on a date to be fixed by proclamation.  The Act gives effect to the Commission’s recommendations to:

  • repeal sex work specific criminal offences and police powers (recommendations 1–5, 7, 11, 19(a), 22 and 25),
  • remove the brothel licensing system (recommendation 6),
  • give stronger anti-discrimination protections to sex workers (recommendations 12–13),
  • support existing sex work businesses to become compliant with planning laws (recommendation 21),
  • prevent local laws prohibiting or regulating sex work or sex work businesses (recommendation 23),
  • include criminal laws against coercion and the involvement of children in commercial sexual services (recommendations 26–31),
  • require the operation of the new framework to be reviewed (recommendations 35–37), and
  • make consequential amendments to other legislation (recommendation 47).

The government has indicated that changes to the planning laws framework to support the decriminalisation of the sex work industry are still being developed.

Sex Work Industry Report