WHEN the owners at Gallery Ink found out the
business had its application for a new operating licence
rejected, they cried.
The Rockhampton tattoo studio is believed to
be one of the first in Queensland to have its application for a
tattoo licence rejected under new legislation introduced by the
The weekend was supposed to be the start of an
exciting new chapter for Gallery Ink as it announced plans to
begin operating seven days a week.
Instead, owners Veronica and Bernie Bartley
were left devastated after finding out on Friday their shop was
being closed. Veronica (pictured below) said the only reason
given to them was because of a "security determination".
"I'm just gutted," Veronica said.
"We don't drink, we don't smoke, we go to
church and we pay our taxes."
Bernie has been a tattooist for 30 years and
Veronica has worked in the disabilities sector for eight years,
where she is required to undergo annual police checks. She has
contacted the Office of Fair Trading, which said its decision
was based on the recommendation of police.
When police interviewed Veronica about six
months ago as part of the application process, she admitted she
knew members of the Rebels bikie gang before they became
"Have you got to lie, or throw people away?"
"We don't do anything with them; they've got
no interest with our business.
"I can't see how they can close us down. We
haven't been convicted of anything."
A condition of the application process means
people who are rejected are not able to get compensation for
loss of income.
The owners are planning to hire a solicitor to
appeal the decision. Veronica also operates an art gallery out
of the studio, and is unsure whether she will be able to keep it
open while the studio is closed.
Veronica Bartley with some of
her artwork that will be on display at Gallery Ink in
Rockhampton. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
They are now waiting anxiously for the outcome
of the application of their son, who owns Rocky Tattoo Studio.
A spokesman for the Queensland Police Service
said each application was determined on its merits.
QPS provide the Office of Fair Trading with a
suitability assessment regarding the license applicant and work
in a collaborative approach with the Office of Fair Trading, and
the tattoo industry to eliminate criminal activity and illegal
association in the industry.
QPS will continue to assist the Office of Fair
Trading in maintaining integrity and public confidence in the
tattoo industry by continuing to monitor license holders to
ensure they remain suitable to hold a license under the Act.