A Geelong piercing operator is backing plans to ban intimate piercings for under-18s, as the State Government calls for public comment on the proposal.
Acting Premier and Attorney-General Rob Hulls yesterday announced the Government would seek community input on the proposed legislation banning intimate body piercings on people under the age of 18.
The legislation would also require parental consent for non-intimate body piercing on people under the age of 16.
Mr Hulls said feedback from young people, the body art industry, community groups, health practitioners and parents was important for shaping the legislation.
For local piercing operator Geoff Polley, who owns Body Pleasure Piercing in Little Malop St, the bans can’t come soon enough.
“It’s a brilliant idea,” he said.
“It’s something we’ve been trying to get for years and years.”
Mr Polley said yesterday he had been calling for these laws for more than a decade and said they would be welcomed by most people in the piercing industry.
He said his business already had a policy of not performing intimate piercings, such as genital piercings, on people under the age of 18; as well as requiring parental permission for any kind of piercing for under-16s.
But he said many young teenagers still came in wanting intimate piercings.
He said having laws to back up his policy would make life much easier for him and many other piercing operators.
Mr Hulls said yesterday tattooing and body piercing was becoming increasingly popular and the Victorian Government had an obligation to protect community health and welfare, especially of the young.
“The proposed reforms are designed to involve parents and guardians in discussions and decision-making with young people about body piercing,” he said.
“Our concern is the safety of minors.
“The possible health implications associated with body piercing can include the transmission of blood-borne viruses, infection, scarring and nerve damage.”