Understanding Legal Aspects Of Adult Establishments In NSW

The legal framework governing adult establishments and brothels in New South Wales (NSW) has undergone significant changes over the years, evolving from rigid regulations to a decriminalised approach that supports the health and rights of sex workers while also addressing community standards and concerns.

Whether you’re looking to kickstart your career at a brothel in Sydney’s CBD or are a call girl in Sydney working for a newly founded agency, this blog will demystify the complex legal aspects surrounding adult establishments, providing you with valuable insights to navigate the industry with confidence and compliance.

The history and decriminalisation of sex work in NSW

In NSW, sex work was initially subject to criminalisation. However, a pivotal transformation in public opinion during the 1970s ushered in an era resulting in the implementation of the Prostitution Act in 1979. The 1983 amendment to this Act signified the approval of legalised sex work in NSW, meaning anyone over the age of 18 can provide sexual services to a person who is over the age of consent.

This legal shift proved there has been a noticeable change from perceiving sex work as exploitative and harmful to recognising it as a legitimate form of employment.

Today’s legal framework for sex work in NSW

Today, NSW boasts the most liberal legislation on sex work in Australia, with almost complete decriminalisation. Despite this legality, adult establishments must adhere to and comply with stringent laws and regulations imposed by local councils, including:

Age restrictions

  • Sex workers — The legal age for sex workers in NSW is 18. Any male, female or transgender sex worker over this age can be employed at brothels in Sydney’s CBD and provide sexual services in exchange for money or goods. Any form of sex work under the age of 18 is illegal and equates to child prostitution in the eyes of the law.
  • Clients — Individuals under 18 are prohibited from entering brothels or sex service premises, ensuring that all parties involved are legally consenting adults.

Local council regulations 

  • Planning and approval — Brothels in NSW are regulated like any other business, meaning to operate, all establishments must obtain planning approval from their local council. This process involves complying with specific zoning regulations, and councils have the authority to determine where brothels can operate based on community standards, land use policies and where the premises is located in proximity to residential areas.
  • Operational standardsBrothels in the CBD of Sydney and surrounding areas are also subject to operational standards set by local councils. These standards can include rules about signage, hours of operation and measures to ensure the brothel does not disrupt the local community. 


Health and safety regulations 

  • Sexual health — While sex workers are encouraged to undergo regular health check-ups, it’s not legally mandated. That said, using protection to prevent STIs is a standard practice in the industry.
  • Workplace safety — From emergency exits to fire-safe stairwells, occupational health and safety laws apply to brothels just like any other workplace. This includes safe working conditions and protocols to handle emergencies or unsafe situations. 

Mandatory brothel closure orders

The Brothels Legislation Amendment Act, enacted in 2007, imposes a regulatory framework for local councils in NSW to monitor and manage licensed brothel operations and sex services businesses. If any individual who visits or works at a brothel in Sydney’s CBD lodges one or more complaints, the local council may respond by issuing the Brothel Closure Order. Although the brothel operator has the right to file an appeal in court, if they continue business operations, they may be committing a criminal offence under this legislation.

Join the team at Claudia’s Penthouse — Sydney’s leading legally licensed brothel

Age restrictions, local council regulations and health and safety measures are central to maintaining a professional and safe environment within the sex industry — so any brothel within Sydney’s CBD or surrounding areas must adhere to these imposed regulations.

From routine site inspections and vetting any client entering the premises to upholding impeccable hygiene standards, Claudia’s Penthouse is a legally licensed brothel leading the way in offering a safe space for clients to fulfil their desires. If you’re interested in working as a call girl in Sydney or joining our brothel near Sydney’s CBD, reach out to our team today to arrange a private appointment.