Sex industry premises

Sex industry premises

Sex and the City

The City of Sydney regulates businesses in the sex and adult entertainment industries, including brothels, swingers clubs, strip venues, adult bookshops and adult cinemas.

Brothels and massage premises

All premises that provide a sexual service are defined in City policy as brothels. This includes premises that provide 'full service' sexual intercourse and premises that may not provide sexual intercourse but provide other sexual services including 'relief' and erotic massage.

Adult entertainment and sex industry premises are only permissible in some areas, depending on land zoning. Information about the zoning can be obtained by contacting a City duty planner (see contacts below).

The building owner's written consent for the venue to be used as sex service or adult entertainment premises must be obtained for a development application.

Adult entertainment and sex industry premises must not be:

  • located in areas zoned residential
  • within buildings that are also used as residences
  • immediately adjacent to or directly opposite land developed for residential purposes
  • next to or directly opposite sensitive land uses such as churches, daycare or child-minding centres, primary and secondary schools, parks, playgrounds or other places children frequent.

New sex industry and adult entertainment premises must not be located within a radius of 75m from an existing, approved adult entertainment or sex industry premises.

Lodging a development application

After checking our requirements, all applications must be lodged through the NSW Planning Portal. We won't accept applications by email or post.

Home occupation sex service premises

City policy for home occupation sex service premises varies according to premises. For information concerning policy, contact the duty planner at the City (see contacts below).


Complaints concerning unauthorised or non-complying adult entertainment and sex industry premises can be made to the City.

Health information

Additional information and resources for the operators of sex industry premises are available from the following sexual health centres:

CamperdownRoyal Prince Alfred Sexual Health Clinic
02 9515 1200

Sydney Sexual Health Centre
02 9382 7440

Kirketon Road Centre
02 9360 2766

Related agencies

02 9206

Department of Immigration and Citizenship131

NSW Health02 9391

NSW Sexual Health Infoline1800 451 624

NSW WorkCoverHealth and Safety Guidelines for Brothels1300 799

Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)
02 9206


If you would prefer to discuss your proposal, you can contact the City and make an appointment to speak to a planner about your proposed development.

Last updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2018