This became a model for New Zealand and a failed attempt in Western Australia in 2008.Victoria and Queensland adopted different models, based on legalisation—Victoria in 1986 and Queensland in 1992.
But criminal law relating to prostitution only dates from around 1910.
These laws did not make the act of prostitution illegal but did criminalise many activities related to prostitution.
Health and safety regulations and peer education have been effective at keeping STIs in the sex worker population at a low level, similar to the general population, and comparable amongst the states (Maginn 2013).
Although there had been claims that sex workers were responsible for STI levels in mining communities, subsequent research has shown this not to be true.
Some of the women transported to Australia had previously worked in prostitution, while others chose the profession due to economic circumstances, and a severe imbalance of the sexes.
While the 1822 Bigge Inquiry refers to brothels, these were mainly women working from their own homes.Men who had paid for sex were more likely than other men to smoke, to drink more alcohol, to have had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or been tested for HIV, to have more sexual partners, to have first had vaginal intercourse before 16, and to have had heterosexual anal intercourse.The NSW Wood Royal Commission into Police Corruption in 1995 recommended sex work be decriminalised to curb corruption and abuse of power.Eastern Australian states and territories liberalised their laws in the late 20th century; but liberalisation has been restricted by upper houses of Parliament of several states, with legislation either defeated or extensively amended.New South Wales was the first state or territory to adopt a different model, decriminalising prostitution in 1979.These laws were based on English laws passed between 18, and related to soliciting, age restrictions, brothel keeping, and leasing accommodation.