UK
08/08/2012 12:34 BST

Prostitutes In Australia Win Right To Rent Motel Rooms In Queensland

Prostitutes now have the right to rent a room in hotels and motels to work in after a landmark case in Queensland.

A prostitute, known as GK, sued the Drovers Rest Motel in Queensland for discrimination after they refused to rent her a room when they found out she was bringing clients there.

She told she toldThe Australianshe had been treated like a "second-class citizen." "They wanted me to go away, but I am a tenacious little terrier, and I would not give up."

The Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled the owners had violated the Anti-Discrimination Act in refusing GK a room.

She is now seeking damages from the 3 and a half star motel of up to £20,000 (around $30,000 Australian dollars).

While prostitution is legal in Queensland, Richard Munro, of the Accommodation Association of Australia, argued the decision was "illogical" and that hotels and motels should be able to choose who works in their businesses.

"If a hairdresser decided to set up shop in the motel and started inviting people in to get their hair cut, I think the motel owner would have the right to say, 'Hang on, that's a different business operating out of my business'. If a prostitute decided to start working out of a shopping mall, the owners would have something to say about it. There is some protection for the rights of the motel owner here."

Janelle Fawkes, chief executive of the Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, said the ruling was a major win for the prostitution industry throughout Australia.

"Accommodation discrimination is a major issue for sex workers, but it is not by any means the only form of systemic discrimination that sex workers experience."