Sex Work in Victoria

Sex work in Victoria is regulated through a ‘licensing system’.

Licensing is the removal of some (but not all) of the criminal laws surrounding sex work and the application of a system of laws that control how, when, where and with whom sex workers can work.  It is not a system designed to make sex workers safer.

What this means in Victoria – broadly speaking – is that while street based sex work remains criminalised, private sex workers are required to register with the state for licenses and all sex workers (including brothel based sex workers) are required to undergo health exams every three months.

If a private sex worker wishes to work from their own premises they must apply for a license as an “exempt brothel”, which requires approval from a landlord, local council and Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV).

There are many rules in the licensing system and if a sex worker is not abiding by these rules they may be fined or even jailed.  A sex worker’s ability to reach out to police for help under licensing is limited due to police being the regulators of the sex industry, stigma and the fact that sex workers not complying with the licensing system can be charged with an offense when reporting a crime.

For comprehensive information on sex work laws in Victoria we recommend accessing ‘Sex Industry Laws – Victoria’ via Scarlet Alliance (Australia Sex Workers Association) here:

For the latest legal info including recent and upcoming changes to Victorian sex work laws, visit ‘Latest Legal Info’ on Vixen Collective’s website here:

Access the four pieces of legislation that make up the licensing system directly here:

Sex Work Act 1994
Sex Work Regulations 2016
Sex Work (Fees) Regulations 2014
Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008

If you are an individual sex worker and are thinking of registering with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) to work in Victoria, both the language and the website itself can be very confusing.  It is likely that the category you will be considering registering under is ‘Small owner/operator (exempt sex work service provider)’, but read through the section of the CAV website linked below carefully and call the CAV on 1300 135 452 for further assistance if needed:

Access resources for sex work in Victoria and around Australia by clicking here:

Vixen Collective advocates for the full decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria, for the health, safety and human rights of Victorian sex workers!

Vixen Collective Victoria’s only peer based sex worker group