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Prostitution Bill on the ropes, says Baldock

Prostitution Bill on the ropes, says Baldock

The Prostitution Reform Bill is close to being defeated, United Future MP Larry Baldock said today.

In yesterday's Second Reading, the Bill scraped through by 62 votes to 56 at a conscience vote, after a First Reading vote last year of 87-21.

"The 62 to 56 vote last night was a tremendous result. There are many more Members of this House who see the Bill today for what it would be - bad law," Mr Baldock said.

"We fully expected there would be some MPs who would support the Bill through to the committee stage to see what amendments were proposed, and we are confident that with this vote so close now, that by the Third Reading, the Bill will be defeated.

"The fact is that this Bill has effectively been changed from a decriminalisation bill to a legalisation bill. MPs are now realising that this is not about the rights of individual prostitutes, but the real intention is not only to expand the opportunities for prostitution, but the industry as a whole.

"This has been the case in every other nation that has liberalised its laws.

"Perhaps one of the most graphic statements was Matt Robson's reference to his friend in the Dutch parliament who initially voted for their reform and now publicly admits they made a mistake," Mr Baldock said.

"There is no question if this law is passed, we will soon have similar regrets. "This is the same situation that occurred when the conscience vote was held on the lowering of the drinking age. It had very little to do with the rights of 18 and 19 year olds, but more to do with the opportunity for the breweries to expand their business and this indeed was the result of that legislation.

"One year after the passing of the lowering of the drinking age, the headline said, '13% increase in sales by Lion Breweries'."

"I am totally convinced that the same outcome will follow if the Prostitution Reform Bill is passed. It has happened everywhere else in the world and it is naïve to think it will not happen here," he said.

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