The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have been longing for some months to speak to this bill. It is one that first came to my attention when I arrived in this place. It was on the list of priorities together with the issue of eating cats and dogs and whether one needed to put a seatbelt on a dog in a car.
I found them quite astonishing, and I think we would relegate them to the list of novelty bills designed to get headlines. Perhaps it ought to be called the `concerned middle-aged parents bill' given some of the measures that are in it. Piercing, for the purposes of the bill, excludes earlobes, and parental permission would, therefore, be required for any minor under the age of 18 to have any piercing except for their earlobes. Furthermore, in relation to tattoos, it includes a cooling-off period for everybody for a period of three days, which I point out is one day more than for the most significant purchase that most people ever make in their life of a house. For that reason I have wanted to make a contribution to this bill.
I think that the amendments have made vast improvements to the bill, and I would like to declare that I have been accused by a couple of my colleagues of having secret piercings and tattoos; I have only my earlobes pierced. Notwithstanding that I have taken the time of the Legislative Council for a couple of minutes to express my point of view, I think that members ought to be much more cautious in the things that they bring before this council, because some are just designed for headlines. We have very important priorities to be debating in this chamber and in the other place.
I hope that the select committee which is put in place will not deliberate a long time but will be sensible and realise that saving people from the potential of having a tattoo while under the influence would have to be one of the least harmful things that people could do. It is something that they inflict on themselves and, therefore, I do not believe that it deserves the same consideration that a number of other issues do. I have some concerns with some of the health issues and I look forward to the committee's findings in that area. I was quite astonished as a new member to see some of the bills that we had listed, so I have wanted to express this point of view for quite some time.