Prostitutes have the right to work from motel rooms in an Australian state, a court said after finding the owner’s refusal to rent to a sex worker was discriminatory.
The ruling in the northeastern state of Queensland has stunned hotel and motel owners, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises.
The prostitute, identified as G.K., had taken her discrimination case against the Drovers Rest Motel in the coal mining town of Moranbah to the Queensland state Civil and Administrative Tribunal after management refused to rent her a room.
The 3 1/2-star motel’s lawyer, David Edwards, said Wednesday that the court notified him this week that it had upheld the prostitute’s claim of discrimination. Edwards confirmed she is seeking damages, which The Australian newspaper reported to be 30,000 Australian dollars ($32,000).
The tribunal’s reasons for its decision have not yet been made public. But prostitution is legal in Queensland, and discrimination based on lawful sexual activity is outlawed.
Prostitutes are flocking to Outback mining towns such as Moranbah, where they base themselves for short periods to cash in on an Australian mining boom.