Illegal sex traffic passing through QLD mine towns

Young, uneducated, and vulnerable women from Southeast Asia are being trafficked for sex through Mount Isa and other mining regions, say Queensland police.

The Australian reports Mount Isa police district inspector Paul Biggin said: "women and girls who cannot speak English, or who have a very low level of English, and a very low level of education, are basically being trafficked for sex, from one mining town to the next".

The Australian reports Biggin said the women were advertised in local newspapers and worked on a fly-in fly-out basis "two weeks here, two weeks in the next town".

Biggin also told The Australian the illegal sex work was on the rise in regional Australia.

While illegal sex work is not tolerated by police, depending on the region licenced work is legal or tolerated.

Last year reports emerged that because of the rising wealth in mining regions fly-in fly-out sex workers in QLD were making more money in a day than miners did in a week.

Sex workers have also been targeting mining workers in Western Australia, with some approaching workers at Perth Airport immediately after they return from the mines.

Last year University of New England associate professor John Scott, who has studied sex work in regional towns, told Australian Mining people needed to be cautious of reading too far into the issue.

"Some media reports have been exaggerated," he said.

"It's always easy to make this topic sensational."

Scott said there had always been opportunities for sex work in mining towns and there was little hard data to suggest it had jumped significantly.

"There have been no measurements on it, but my hunch is that it would not be epidemic," he said.

Image: Don't Believe the Hype blog

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.