That's discrimination: Tattooists speak on new law
TATTOO parlour owners are citing discrimination as their criminal records are put under the spotlight in the Newman Government's next phase of the anti-bikie laws.
Queensland tattooists have just one week left to apply for new licences, which will only be granted after strict police checks.
"Plumbers and electricians have to have licenses, I'm okay with getting a license, it's just everything else attached to the license," - Neil Braithwaite.
They will have their finger and palm prints taken and be forced to reveal details about close associates including staff, business partners and even their landlord.
Those with no criminal history feel they are being unfairly targeted by the new laws. As at yesterday, just over half of the tattoo parlours in Queensland had handed in their application. Individual tattooists will also need to apply for a license.
The new compulsory licenses in order to run a tattoo parlour are the latest step in the State Government's crackdown on organised criminal motorcycle gangs.
Tattooists operating without a new licence face fines up to $55,000 for a first offence, and $110,000 and 18 months in jail for subsequent breaches.
Coolum Tattoo owner Neil Braithwaite submitted his paperwork last week.
The Office of Fair Trading confirmed so far, no applications have been rejected.
Mr Braithwaite said he did not have problem applying for a license, but did not agree all tattoists deserved to be tarred with the same"criminal" brush.
"Plumbers and electricians have to have licenses, I'm okay with getting a license, it's just everything else attached to the license," he said.
"You don't see plumbers and electricians having their criminal record checked and their fingers prints taken.
"There is no level or standard of training involved with getting the licences and it won't stop bad tattooists from tattooing, this is about revenue raising hidden behind anti-bikie laws.
"Tattoos are becoming popular and it's another industry that the government wants to control."
The cost of a tattoo parlour license is $1150 a year, while a tattooist will need to pay $350 each year.
Body art tattooists visiting Queensland and organisers of trade shows will need temporary permits.
Currently 139 tattoo parlour owners have applied for the license out of 340 tattoo businesses.
Who is applying:
As at June 23, 2014
- 340 tattoo parlours in Queensland
- 139 parlour license applications received
- 317 applications for a tattooist licence
- 1 application for a tattoo exhibition permit
- 2 applications for a visiting overseas tattooist permit.
No applications have yet been refused