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Political & civils rights advocate, animal lover & state co-ordinator for the Australian Federation Party


All tattoo shop owners and their staff under new legislation now must apply for a three-year licence from NSW Police and Fair Trading, another added cost and increased red taps for small business seems to be flavour of the day.

Police Minister Michael Gallacher said anyone with criminal associations would be denied a licence, and would be fined if they continued to operate. One wonders if such draconian legislation is all about pushing reformed criminals back into crime, because it is not a crime to perform the art of tattooing, says Mark Aldridge.

The sell that "It is about cleaning up that industry” is abhorrent, because this new law accounts for association, not just the artists or shop owners past, so should tattoo parlours be forced to perform back ground checks on any prospective customer?

Licences will cost $700 for tattooists and more than $2000 for operators of a tattoo parlour. Any tattoo parlour found without a licence will be fined a massive $11,000 a day. Individual owners face fines of $5500 a day, and tattoo artists will receive a one-off fine of $5000.

All workers in tattoo shops will be fingerprinted and any past associations scrutinised by police, somewhat akin to the actions of Nazi Germany, “where will this stupidity end “Says Mark. 

One must wonder what will happen from here, is a person has already paid the price for ones indiscretions, and choose to run an honest business, and then they are shut down, how will they be expected to pay their mortgage?

It appears new laws in this country continue to attack an innocent person after they have already been punished, seemingly out of frustration by police who are unable to lock up people they believe might commit a crime at some time in the future. 

“Since when was it an offence to operate a legitimate business activity in this country, simply because you once committed or know a person who once committed a crime?” Why not just go all the way and make it a crime to conduct an honest business if you have at any time in your life buggered up, that will surely give the police plenty of crime to fight.

 Mark Aldridge. Independent and Civil rights campaigner