Suzan Gencay


Key legislation related to sex work

In Victoria, sex work is governed by the Sex Work Act 1994 (Vic) (‘SW Act’), and the Sex Work Regulations 2016 (Vic) (‘SW Regulations’).

On 1 March 2022, the Sex Work Decriminalisation Act 2022 (‘SWD Act’) received royal assent. The purposes of this Act are to decriminalise sex work and to repeal the SW Act. On 10 May 2022, several parts (parts 1, 3, 4 and 5) of the SWD Act came into force, affecting the kinds of criminal offences relating to sex work that are punishable by imprisonment. There will be further amendments by 1 December 2023.

In this chapter, penalties for offences under the SW Act or the SW Regulations are listed as the maximum penalty units or term of imprisonment.

Penalty units

For the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, one penalty unit (pu) equals $184.92 under Victorian state law. For more information, see ‘A note about penalty units’ at the start of this book.

If you are charged with an offence, get legal advice (see Chapter 2.4: Legal services that can help).

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Fines, infringements and criminal law