Monday, November 5, 2012

Moteliers Rights...Continued

We've been stalking the evolving story of GK, the sex worker from the Gold Coast that habitually used motels to conduct her trade.

In a landmark legal decision earlier this year, it was determined that motel operators across Australia, could find themselves in breach of the anti-discrimination laws that exist in every state if they try to turn away prostitutes.

The decision in GK's favour was based upon the simple premise that sex workers using a motel bed to conduct trade should be treated no differently from other guests (ie sales reps etc) that may conduct business in a motel room by using the telephone or internet.

In (hopefully) the latest chapter in this story, it would appear that it has taken a rushed amendment to Queenland's Anti-Discrimination Act to enable a common sense outcome. A law change effective from last Thursday now gives more certainty for the rights of Australian moteliers to refuse sex workers accommodation, or evict them if they believe they are operating a business from a guest room.

It's been very impressive how quickly this was able to be resolved.

Although discrimination laws in Australia and New Zealand are based on a similar premise, it would probably be a long-shot if a sex worker plying trade from a motel guest room in this country could successfully claim discrimination after being asked to leave. It would take very good legal representation acting for a "victimised sex worker to squeeze a result from our established Human Rights Act.

It has to be kept in mind that when hurt feelings, entitlement and legal aid is involved, it's not inconceivable that a sex worker could construct case against a hapless Kiwi motel after enduring the humiliation of being tossed out. It's not unknown for courts and tribunals to interpret laws for the benefit of the individual over businesses, however the law change in in Australia gives some comfort.

Very pleasing to see that Australian law makers backed the rights of our Ozzie motelier cuzzies and displayed willingness to make the law work to protect common law property rights of moteliers.
"MOTEL and hotel owners will have more power to refuse rooms to sex workers under changes to Queensland's Anti-Discrimination Act.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie says the changes, which took effect on Thursday, give accommodation owners stronger powers to evict sex workers and refuse to rent them rooms.

"A recent Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision ruled the owners of a motel in Moranbah had breached the Anti-Discrimination Act by denying a legal sex worker a room," Mr Bleijie said on Thursday.

Moranbah is a mining town in Queensland's Isaac region.

"This decision is being appealed by the Moranbah motel but it is necessary in the interim to change the law to give businesses certainty in controlling the use of their premises," he said.

The changes will mean owners can refuse a sex worker accommodation, or evict them if they believe they are operating a business from the room.

"The Newman government supports business owners' ability to make decisions about what does or does not occur on their premises," Mr Bleijie said.

"At the end of the day if someone is running a business out of a hotel or motel room and the operator or manager receives complaints from other patrons they should be able to do something.

"It is about levelling the playing field so the laws suit the majority not the minority."

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