This year’s SURFn’ink tattoo festival has come at the height of the bikie crackdown, with a strong police presence expected.
Officers will be on the look out for people with connections to criminal motorcycle gangs.
The event starts tomorrow, just days after new tattoo licensing laws came into effect, at an annual cost of more than $1,100.
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SURFn’ink will celebrate its fifth year at the Gold Coast Convention Centre with a three day festival
featuring an A-list of tattoo artists from Australia and around the world.
More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event which features tattooists, tattoo competitions, rockabilly and rock’n’roll bands, guest appearances by Angry Anderson and Dean Vegas, pro-wrestlers, Miss SURFn’ink pageant, art fusion and industry related displays.
To ensure tattoo industry operators are abreast of Queensland’s recently introduced tattoo industry laws
and the assessment process, Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading will hold a free seminar at the
SURFn’Ink Festival tomorrow evening at 7pm.
The seminar will cover details of who needs to apply and everything that people inside or hoping to enter
the industry will need to know. The presentation will be delivered by Peter Reinhold, Director Business
Services Division at the Office of Fair Trading.
SURFn’ink organiser Lindsay Hall said the Office of Fair Trading seminar will be an opportunity for those working
in the industry to hear first-hand what the new laws entail and how artists can ensure that when the licensing
deadline comes into effect from 1 July, they have ticked all the necessary boxes.
“We are pleased to host the Office of Fair Trading for this seminar as there are so many myths and rumours
circulating within the industry right now. This will give everyone the chance to hear about the laws and their
obligations come July.
“SURFn’ink attacts one of the biggest gatherings of tattoo artists in the country and many tattooists from
interstate and overseas are keen to find out how these laws will affect them when they come to Queensland for
events such as ours.
“These regulations are unheard of in other countries around the world. International artists especially need to be
assured they are still welcome to come to Australia to tattoo at festivals and events,” said Lindsay.
The Office of Fair Trading has outlined that tattoo parlour operators will need to apply for a licence to run their
businesses before June 30. They are urging people within the industry not to delay their applications as existing
operators will face closure if they have not applied by the deadline.
From July 1 the new licensing laws will make it illegal to operate a tattoo parlour without a licence, carry out body
art tattooing without a licence or permit or employ a tattooist who does not have a licence or permit.
Once a licence application is received it will be assessed by the Office of Fair Trading. The assessment will include screening by the Queensland Police Service to ensure no links to criminal motorcycle gangs. Operators who apply by the deadline will be able to continue operating while they are assessed.
For more information on the new laws visit www.qld.gov.au/tattoolicensing.