Sex trade booms in Surat Basin

BUSINESS BOOMING: Prostitutes come out on top as a result of the energy sector.
BUSINESS BOOMING: Prostitutes come out on top as a result of the energy sector.

SEX sells, especially in the Surat Basin.

Despite the lucrative salaries offered to miners, figures indicate the resource boom's financial winners are sex workers.  

Krystele (not real name) is a 29-year-old sex worker who spent last week in Chinchilla.

"If I do a full seven-day swing, I'll pull around $16,000," she said.

Krystele has been fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) into mining towns for three-and-a-half years and said sex workers would be crazy not cash in.

 "Everyone else in those communities are profiting from the resource boom," she said.

"Why should it be any different for sex workers?"

Comparatively, a general labourer for a major CSG company earns around $1500 per week.

It is not just FIFO workers benefiting from the demand for sex.

Toowoomba brothel Deviations operations manager Warwick Bumstead said 80% of their clients were resource industry workers.

"One of the main reasons the owner of Deviations opened in this region was because of the resources boom in the Surat Basin and the growth in the demand of adult entertainment such as clubs like ours which supply a safe enviroment to the public," Mr Bumstead said.

A 36-year-old resource sector worker, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he believed sex workers were "an accepted part" of the industry.

"Three or four guys in my camp use prostitutes and they are only the ones I know of," he said.

While many FIFO sex workers use hotel rooms as their bases, not all hoteliers are supportive.

 Chinchilla Palms Motor Inn manager Warwick Morris said the hotel had been approached by a sex worker who openly declared her intent to work from the room.

"The idea (of hosting sex workers) does bother me," Mr Morris said.

"I expect that I will get more and more calls."

With some strong opposition to the sex industry, Krystele said she didn't go into details when asked about her work.

"I just tell them I work in hands-on operations in the resource industry," she laughed.

The facts:

The Queensland Prostitution Authority reports

In 2010-11, there were 23 licensed brothels in Queensland

It is illegal for outcalls (escort services) to be made from licensed brothels

Outcalls are legal when provided by legitimate single sex workers; outcalls are estimated to constitute a significant proportion of the state's sex industry

46.5% of brothel workers revealed they were unable to earn sufficient money in more mainstream employment, compared to 23.3% of sole operators

In a busy week, street workers reported seeing 35 clients, licensed brothel workers 29, and sole operators 24.

Topics:  charleville chinchilla csg dalby prostitution resource industry roma sex sex workers st george

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