31 Jan 2013

Delay in bill on prostitution

8:33 am on 31 January 2013

A bill aimed at controlling street prostitution has been delayed because the select committee considering the issue is looking at using existing bylaws instead.

The Local Government and Environment Committee had been due to report back on the bill in December but that has now been deferred until July.

The committee wants to know whether people think local authorities could use existing bylaws to regulate street prostitution rather than Parliament passing new legislation.

The Prostitutes Collective national co-ordinator Catherine Healy says the delay, and the consideration of existing bylaws, means the select committee is looking at more suitable options.

If the bill is passed, councils could ban prostitution in certain public places and police could arrest and fine anyone breaching the rules.

National MP Nicky Wagner chairs the committee and says the delay is because the bill addresses a complex issue.

Submissions on the bill will be heard during the next few weeks.