Tattooist concerned industry changes focus on wrong issues
SHE may not be happy about the new licensing for tattooists, but Veronica Bartley still made sure she applied for hers early.
Six months on she still hasn't heard whether her registration will be approved or rejected.
Queensland tattooists had until July 1 to apply for new licenses, and already there have been reports that two Central Queensland tattoo parlours have had their applications rejected by police.
The Queensland Police and the Office of Fair Trading were unable to give out details about which businesses these were.
Veronica, who co-owns Gallery Ink with her husband Bernie, believes tattooists are being discriminated against.
While the uncertainty around the future of her business is frustrating, Veronica said the most concerning change relates to the health regulations.
While the Health Department is supposed to police it, she is concerned the Office of Fair Trading is more concerned about removing the criminal element.
"The concern is you can get a tattoo license now through Fair Trading for this, without having training in skin penetration and infection control," she said.
"It's going to allow people to open that aren't experienced, but they're not worried about that, they're coming down on the criminal side first."
Veronica said she is also concerned that if police believe tattooists have associations with bikie members they can close their business before having to prove anything in court.
Bernie has been a tattooist for 35 years.
While he is not a member of a bikie gang, Gallery Ink has sponsored tattoo shows for the past 25 years which have been run by motorcycle clubs.
Bernie argued there is good and bad in everything, and said the whole industry was being tarnished.
"You do not have to be a criminal, you can have no conviction, but if you're classed as having an association you can be under investigation and be knocked back," he said.
"I don't know anyone can think that's fair."