History of Prostitution in Sydney

The most liberal laws on prostitution in Australia are those for New South Wales. Prostitution is very nearly decriminalised.

It is still illegal to live on the earnings of a working girl but the law exempts brothel owners and brothel managers from this law. And of course child prostitution is also illegal. It is also against the law to solicit near or within view of a church or hospital, a dwelling or a school.

Early Prostitution in Sydney

In the past Sydney has had all the typical problems of a port town where prostitution is concerned. Control of prostitution was partly driven by the need to control the spread of infectious diseases which before cheap disposable condoms and antibiotics were sometimes at shocking levels. Vagrancy laws were often used to control street prostitution.

The picture to the left is of Elizabeth Singleton, know n to the local constabulary as a ‘common prostitue’. She was ultimately locked up on in the Long Bay prison.

Prostitution in Sydney from the 1970’s

Liberalisation came rapidly in the 1970’s driven by an active feminist movement and growing libertarianism stemming from the social changes of the 1960’s.

Kings Cross in Sydney has long been the centre of the trade and still remains a Mecca for those working and enjoying prostitution.

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