A TATTOOIST faces losing his business over
fears grenades will be lobbed into the shopping centre where
his business is based.
Agnes Tattoo Studio's Ian and Sharon
Walker say they have been branded criminals.
Mr and Mrs Walker told The Observer
insurer Allianz, the State Government's anti-bikie laws and
Gladstone Regional Council were making life impossible.
He laid the blame on the Vicious Lawless
Association Disestablishment Act, laws targeting outlaw
Correspondence sent between his business,
Allianz and the Agnes Water Shopping complex said tattoo
studios were "a risky element due to most of them having
connections with the bikies".
The document also pointed out the
"possibility of gang wars and perhaps a hand grenade or two
raining down on the centre".
Mr Walker said the idea of grenades being
thrown in Agnes Water was ridiculous.
"I've had no links with bikies my whole
life," he said.
"The studio has been here for 3.5 years
and we've never had a problem with insurance before.
"We came here to set up a business like
everyone else but for some reason we don't get treated like
Due to a change in underwriting criteria,
Allianz is no longer able to cover tattoo operations.
Alternative insurance cover will be
$15,000, which Mr Walker said was "just crazy".
The Walkers have also looked at moving to
the Corfield Road Industrial site.
Mr Walker said he was told the council
would not approve a tattoo studio to open on that site as it
did not fit "Gladstone's vision" of Agnes Water.
Council CEO Stuart Randle said tattoo
studios should be in a commercial zone.
"... The council advised Mr Walker that
any application to change land use would be assessed in
accord with the Miriam Vale Planning Scheme."
"A tattoo studio is a commercial business
and so would best be situated in a zone that supports
A spokesperson for the Minister for
Police, Jack Dempsey, said the VLAD act was designed to
"As part of the Government's strong plan
for a brighter and safer future for Queensland families new
tattoo licensing legislation was introduced to eliminate
criminal activity and illegal associations in the industry,"
the spokesperson said.
Allianz and the Agnes Water Shopping
Complex body corporate did not respond to requests for