The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer) (21:59): Can I at the outset acknowledge the Hon. Tammy Franks in bringing this bill to the chamber, as her predecessor, the Hon. Michelle Lensink, and others in another chamber have been acknowledged and have brought their bills with genuinely held views in relation to the worth of the legislation that they have introduced.
The Hon. D.G.E. HOOD (21:02): It will come as no surprise to members of this chamber that I rise to indicate that I will not be supporting the second reading of this bill. The bill seeks to amend the Criminal Law Consolidation Act, the Summary Offences Act and the Equal Opportunity Act to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia. Given that existing legislation uses the term 'prostitution' I will too, but I mean no disrespect in doing so.
The Hon. C. BONAROS (20:21): I rise to speak in support of the second reading of the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work Bill) 2018. I note for the record that, given the nature of the bill, SA-Best, like other parties, has determined that the matter will be a conscience vote for the party.
The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (22:37): I would like to thank all honourable members who have made a contribution to this debate and to echo the words of the various reflections that we come to this place as representatives and to do the best job that we can on behalf of our constituents. That does not mean that we all hold the same opinions, of course; in fact, that is the very nature of a democratic place such as this council. But the reason we are here is to make decisions on behalf of our constituents. The decisions we make do affect and impact on the lives of many people.
The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (20:41): I rise to support the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018. In doing so, I am basically reiterating what I said on the 2012 and 2015 bills for prostitution law reform. In my view, South Australia needs prostitution law reform. The current criminal law approach to prostitution does not provide effective policing of prostitution.
The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS (16:54): Today I rise to speak on the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill (No. 2). This is a matter that has been debated many times in respect of how it should be governed. In fact, in the last 20 years there have been 12 bills introduced to decriminalise sex work and none of them has been successful. Why? Because it is a contentious issue, heavily cloaked in stigma. More oft than not, the moral values and personal beliefs of a few have drowned out the voices of the many and, in particular, those on the front line. Voices such as Scarlet Alliance, SIN, the World Health Organization and the workers themselves, who are willing to risk a great deal to be seen, heard and taken seriously.
Hon. M.C. PARNELL (19:45): Two years ago when we last debated a bill to decriminalise sex work, I spoke very briefly—in fact, I counted them and there were only 200 words. The main point that I wanted to make back then was to acknowledge the overwhelming support of women's groups for law reform. There was the Zonta Club, the Working Women's Centre, the YWCA, Soroptimist International, and many others. I acknowledge that that support is ongoing. Over dinner, I checked out the Twitter feed and saw that the YWCA has been live tweeting from parliament. It is excellent to know the community is paying so much attention to our debate tonight.
The Hon. T.T. NGO (19:57): I rise to speak against this bill in its current form. It is important to note that this bill is exactly the same as the previous bill that was introduced by the Hon. Michelle Lensink back in 2015, which passed this house unamended by 13 votes to 8 in 2017. I want put on the record that I, again, do not have a moral objection to allowing consenting adults to have sex in private with the exchange of money involved. I am about having a compromise. I am about having a bad bill and finding ways to improve it. I have heard previous speakers mention that we should just let this bill through even though there are bad elements of it, and then we will work out how to improve it down the track. I think it is important we get it right from the start and then down the track we will make it better.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (21:43): The hour is late and it is definitely past my bedtime, so I will be brief. That I will be supporting this bill would come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has followed the debate. This is the identical bill to the Steph Key bill of 2013. I acknowledge her in the gallery today and for her ongoing commitment to this area. It is also identical to the bill I introduced here in 2015. I apologise to avid readers of Hansard, of which you know there were very many—sorry, that is a joke—who may accuse me of plagiarising my own speeches or of being repetitive or consistent—
The Hon. F. PANGALLO (20:48): I rise to speak on the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill (No. 2). It is quite an emotional and divisive debate we are hearing this evening. I want to commend my Greens colleague the Hon. Tammy Franks, the Hon. Michelle Lensink, and my own colleague the Hon. Connie Bonaros for their strong advocacy and passion on social justice issues, particularly this one. I appreciate their intent, and it is clear they do care about the conditions and risks faced by those who, for various reasons, choose to work in the sex-for-sale industry.