NSW Fair Trading cuts 'a boon for bikies'
June 13, 2012
OUTLAW motorbike gangs will find it easier to entrench themselves in the tattoo industry because of NSW Fair Trading department funding cuts, the opposition says.
The state government's tattoo parlour legislation roll-out will be damaged by $13 million worth of cuts to the department revealed in Tuesday's budget, state opposition fair trading spokeswoman Tania Mihailuk says.
Under the legislation introduced in May, all tattoo parlours will have to get a licence from Fair Trading NSW.
"In the coming months fair trading is supposed to be taking a leading role in reducing the influence of outlaw motorcycle gangs in the tattoo parlour industry," Ms Mihailuk said in a statement.
"How does the O'Farrell government expect fair trading to undertake this vital work with $13 million less funding than last year?"
The reduction in funding will also make people more vulnerable to being taken advantage of by dodgy operators and affect the department's ability to investigate shonky businesses, she says.
Twenty four fair trading offices around the state and the seven consumer trade and tenancy tribunal registries could face staff cuts or even closure, Ms Mihailuk said.
Fair Trading minister Anthony Roberts said Labor's claims were predictable and inaccurate.
"The Shadow Minister's response is ... typical Labor scaremongering," he said in a statement to AAP.
"This Budget takes the tough decisions necessary to ensure a sustainable financial future for NSW."