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Changes to planning provisions and all planning schemes

The Victorian Government is decriminalising sex work to achieve better public health and human rights outcomes.

To support the decriminalisation of sex work, the planning rules are changing.

The changes mean a sex services business will now be treated like any other business, subject to the same rules and regulations.

Amendment VC217 makes changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes to allow a sex services business to operate the same as any other business in Victoria.

The changes commence on 1 December 2023.

Where can a sex services business operate?

A sex services business will be able to operate anywhere a shop can.

Where the use of land for a shop is permitted, a sex services premises will also be permitted and will be subject to the same conditions and requirements that apply to a shop in all zones.

To find out more go to Planning Advisory Note 79: Decriminalising sex work.

Can sex work be carried out at home?

Anyone will be able to undertake sex work from their home, subject to certain conditions.

These include:

  • the home being the person’s principal place of residence
  • that the business does not adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood.

If a neighbour is concerned that a home based sex work business is adversely affecting the amenity of the area, they can report it to the local council.

Planning process to set up a sex services business

The planning process for a sex services business will be the same as any other business.

Standard requirements and exemptions for the development of land will apply to a sex services premises in the same way as for other uses.

Signs rules

The sign requirements for a sex services business will be the same as any other business. There are no specific requirements in the planning scheme for signs associated with sex work.

The content of signs is not regulated by the planning scheme.

Planning Advisory Note 79: Amendment VC217 - Decriminalising sex work (PDF, 105.5 KB) or (DOCX, 33.8 KB)

More information

If you have questions about street based sex work, child welfare, local laws or content of signs refer to the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

To learn about matters relating to workplace health and safety go to WorkSafe.

For information on the health response to the sex work reforms, visit the Department of Health.

To find out about your rights regarding discrimination, go to Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Information about licensing and regulation of sex work service providers is available at Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Information about the role of Victoria Police as Victoria transitions to the decriminalisation of sex work is at Victoria Police.

Page last updated: 09/06/23


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