Currently, laws regulating adult videos vary state to state in Australia.
“The authorities turn a blind eye in several states to the sale of X-rated films and [the inconsistent laws] could foster a disrespect for the law itself, and that's not what anyone wants,” said Sunlove, the FSC’s legislative affairs director, who spoke on the subject prior to the opening of the annual Sexpo show at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre this weekend.
“We want reasonable regulation — reasonable regulation by governments implies legitimacy and gives standards to judge behavior by,” she said. “It's a fascinating irony that Australia has practical laws and a federal classification system that the states have signed up to, but it is not legal to sell X-rated films in many states.”
Sunlove, however, said that the U.S. could learn much from Australia's approach to legalizing prostitution in registered brothels.
“It is in stark contrast to what we have in the [U.S.], where prostitution is illegal in every state other than in some parts of Nevada,” said Sunlove, who noted that laws in most Australian states legalizing prostitution at licenced brothels were well ahead of contemporary thinking in the U.S.
There are various regulatory agencies governing prostitution in Australia and a level of increasing professionalism is being seen in the industry with the establishment of business associations such as the Queensland Adult Business Association. Members of the group ascribe to a strict ethical code that entrenches the independence of prostitutes, who are called sex workers in Australia.
One brothel in Melbourne — the Daily Planet — is even listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.