Funding boons for gambling oversight and safe sex work

Stronger gambling oversight, safer work for sex workers and improved access to community justice services has joined a long list of contributions in the state budget.

The government allocated $55.6 million to implement recommendations from the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence to provide a significant boost to casino and gambling regulation.

The investment would help the Office of the Special Manager undertake its stringent review of the casino licence over the next two years.

Under the budget, the government has allocated $11.3 millinot to help implement the government’s sex work decriminalisation laws to keep those who are working in the industry safer and to reduce discrimination.

The commitment would include $5.3 million for Worksafe to establish a dedicated Sex Work Safety Team to develop guidance, industry support and awareness campaigns.

Under the budget, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission would receive more than $1 million to educate accommodation providers and other businesses on their rights and duties under anti-discrimination laws.

Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Minister Melissa Horne said the budget allocations would ensure the gambling and sex work industries were safer.

“We’re sending a clear message to the casino operator and the wider gambling industry: to operate in this state, you’ve got to uphold the highest standards of integrity,” she said.

“We’ve decriminalised sex work to ensure that those in the industry will be treated like any other worker in the state.

“This investment is another step in regulating this industry safely and fairly.”

Workplace Safety Minister Ingrid Stitt said every Victorian deserves to feel safe at work and these initiatives would ensure they felt safer.

“With a dedicated Sex Work Safety Team within WorkSafe, we’ll make sure sex work is regulated appropriately and fairly, with the best guidance and procedures in place to keep workers safe,” she said.