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  • Nipples out in new piercing rules
  • News Dot Com
  • 30/12/2008 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: The Rooster ( 264 articles in 2008 )
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MINORS will be banned from having their nipples and genitals pierced and children under 16 will need parental consent for any other body piercings under new Victorian laws.

From January 1, piercers who give a person aged under 18 an intimate body piercing will risk a $6600 fine.

The same penalty will apply to those who give minors a tattoo or perform scarification, tongue splitting, branding or beading on someone aged under 18.

And piercers who give children under 16 a non-intimate body piercing without parental consent will be slapped with a $2200 fine.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls said the new laws would help protect young people as body art increased in popularity.

"The possible health implications associated with body piercing can include the transmission of blood-borne viruses, infection, scarring and nerve damage," he said.

"These new laws provide clear guidance for body piercers, and balance the rights of guardians and parents with the freedom of expression of young people."

Piercers can escape fines if they prove the client duped them into believing they were of legal age by producing fraudulent ID, like a driver licence.

Public transport users also face fare hikes in the new year.

Train, tram and bus tickets will rise by 5 per cent, in line with the consumer price index (CPI), adding 30 cents to the cost of a daily zone one ticket, which will rise to $6.80.

The increase comes on the back of rising taxi fares, which increased by 6.1 per cent on December 13, adding an extra $1.20 to the average 10km fare of $19.68.

Rising travel costs will be offset by savings on gas and electricity bills, which the government says will become more competitive when energy prices are deregulated on January 1.

Consumers are encouraged to shop around for the best deal from energy companies.

Low-income households will be offered incentives to save water in the new year under the Water Wise program. The program provides a free audit and water saving upgrades up to $500 to eligible customers.

Victorian households will also be encouraged to do their bit to reduce the state's carbon footprint with the introduction of a mandatory energy target.

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) aims to cut emissions by 8.1 million tonnes a year by requiring energy retailers to provide incentives for customers to become more energy efficient.


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