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Proud of its history and continued prosperity, Kalgoorlie is one of the most parochial towns in Australia, but first and foremost “Kal” is a “Working Man’s Town” of twelve-hour, seven-day shifts. Prostitution has long been legal in WA and due to Kalgoorlie’s perceived “special needs” (a large male population and significant lack of females) the high rates paid here saw willing women flock to the town. Until ten years ago, a “containment” policy meant that prostitutes were not allowed to live in the community nor visit public places, effectively confining them to the sniggeringly louche red-light district of Hay Street. Now, with containment lifted, the street’s appeal has diminished, prices have dropped and many brothels have closed. However, those remaining have refocused their business on brothel tours, and these have become one of Kalgoorlie’s most popular activities, offering fascinating anecdotes about the history of prostitution in WA, and answering all the questions you dare to ask.

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