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09.16.07

State ban on intimate piercings

Posted in Piercing News at 6:02 pm by admin

TEENAGERS will be banned from getting intimate body piercings under tough new laws being pushed by the State Government.1.jpg

It will also be illegal for children under 16 to get any type of piercing without written parental approval.

Unscrupulous operators who continue to pierce people under 18 in the genital or chest region face fines up to $2000 under laws the Government hopes will come into effect next year.

Teens under 16 must be accompanied to a piercing parlour by a parent to get their ears pierced, but it will be illegal for them to get a piercing in an intimate area.

Navel, tongue and eyebrow piercings are still allowed on teens under 16, as long as they have parental approval.

The term “intimate” as defined by the Government covers genital and nipple studs and rings.

The Government’s draft Bill is open for public comment and submissions and will be put to Parliament early next year.

Deputy Premier Rob Hulls said the Government wanted to save teenagers from doing something they might later regret.

But many teens say they should be free to get pierced.

“Genital piercing can lead to health problems and permanent scarring,” Mr Hulls said. “We don’t think it’s appropriate for anyone under the age of 18 years to have that piercing.

“We’re genuine about getting community feedback on this issue.

“It’s a genuine concern to many parents in Victoria.

“As a Government we want to protect kids in this state, and the last thing we want is for kids when they get older to regret undergoing this type of procedure that can cause them permanent damage.

“It’s illegal in this state to get a tattoo if you’re under 18 and we believe intimate body piercing should in the same category.”

The action comes after Nationals MP Damian Drum introduced a private member’s Bill seeking mandatory parental consent for teen piercings.

Mr Hulls said there were too many flaws in Mr Drum’s proposal and the Government had formulated its own.

North Carlton pharmacist David Nolte, who runs the Pierce De Resistance clinic through his Rathdowne St chemist, said he was worried the ban would force teens bent on piercing into doing it themselves.

“I already see so many kids doing it themselves and then they come to me to fix it,” Mr Nolte said.

“They’ll get out their school compass like I did back when I was at school.

“The Government should not crack down on minors, they should be cracking down on shonky practitioners. We need better credentialisation.”

Parkville student Kristy Petroff, 19, has four piercings, and yesterday had her nose pierced with her friend, Nell Pierce, 19.

Ms Petroff believed piercings were a personal choice regardless of age, but saw some merit in the proposal.

“It’s your own body so you should be able to do what you want, but if you work with your parents it’s probably better in the long run,” she said.

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