Business burden for tatts

COPPING THE CRACKDOWN: Pete Davidson from Creative Tattoos in South Lismore feels new regulations unfairly target tattoo artists.
COPPING THE CRACKDOWN: Pete Davidson from Creative Tattoos in South Lismore feels new regulations unfairly target tattoo artists. Cathy Adams

NEW tattoo parlour licensing laws are getting under the skin of local tattoo artists.

Under new regulations that come into force in NSW from October 1, it will be illegal for tattoo artists like Pete Davidson, of Creative Tattoo Art in South Lismore, to continue running his business without submitting to fingerprint testing and paying a $2094 licensing fee.

The new laws have been dubbed by police as an effort to crack down on criminal activity and illegal bikie gangs operating through tattoo parlours.

Tattoo artists will also be required to consent to a national police check and provide declarations about all "close associates" who would "have a significant influence over the management and operation of the parlour".

The new regulations will also see NSW police able to enter premises to search for firearms, drugs and explosives.

Mr Davidson is the owner of Creative Tattoo Art in Lismore and he has been inking clients' skin for the past 40 years.

He said the new laws unfairly target tattoo artists after a small minority of parlours were involved in criminal activity.

"Considering regulations to have fingerprints and palm prints taken when you fill out a licence application aren't in place for any other types of traders, it seems like we are being unfairly targeted," Mr Davidson said.

All tattooists who don't agree to have their fingerprints stored will be denied a licence.

Mr Davidson said he regards his job as an "artistic profession" and has never seen criminal activity among his colleagues in the tattoo world.

"Just because some bikers in Sydney have bought tattoo shops to launder their money through, every tattoo shop is being punished," he said.

"None of the tattooists I know have been to jail, all they really worry about is art and a bit of music."

 

Did you know ...

AFTER October 1, anyone operating a body art or tattooing business without a licence will be slammed with an initial $11,000 fine and an additional $11,000 fine for every day they continue operating unlicensed.



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