Rockhampton couple take tattoo licence fight to Brisbane

A ROCKHAMPTON couple has made state history in being the first to fight for tattoo licences after their applications were rejected under the former Queensland government's strict anti-bikie laws.

And at a civil hearing to test the evidence on Wednesday, Rockhampton couple Veronica and Bernie Bartley also disputed a law that allowed evidence to be tendered that they were not allowed to see.

At the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing in Brisbane, barrister Michael Nicolson, representing the Police Commissioner, handed up secret documents that detailed how it deemed Mr and Mrs Bartley were unfit to have a licence.

But no one, not even Mr and Mrs Bartley and their lawyers, are allowed to know what these "criminal intelligence" documents contain, as they have to remain confidential under legislation, tribunal senior member Kerrie O'Callaghan outlined.

"The provisions in the Tattoo Parlours Act, if you like, have overtaken what would normally be the principles of natural justice to enable the parties to have regard to all of the material," she said.

Mr Bartley, representing himself, disputed this.

"If something is kept secret from you and there are allegations made, how can you defend them?" he said.

"I just don't see how that's fair and just."

Ms O'Callaghan said she knew it placed him in a difficult position but the tribunal could only go by the legislation.

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