Caloundra man Ox shows off his tattoed eyeballs and forked tongue at the first Sunshine Coast Ink Attack Tattoo Convention in Queensland last year.
Caloundra man Ox shows off his tattoed eyeballs and forked tongue at the first Sunshine Coast Ink Attack Tattoo Convention in Queensland last year. Jessica Mckenzie

MP: Dangerous eyeball tattoos should be legal

IT IS not the government's job to ban practices like eyeball tattooing just because they are stupidly dangerous, according to NSW upper house member Peter Phelps.

The outspoken libertarian government whip rejected Labor's push to legislate against the risky cosmetic surgery because, like contact sports and questionable sexual practices, it was none of the government's business.

"We're not going to ban rugby league. We're not going to ban ballet," he said.

"We're not going to ban anal fisting.

"These things are dangerous but we're not going to ban them, are we?

"Or maybe we are. Maybe we've reached a whole new morality in this state which says: because I don't like it and it's a bit dangerous, let's just ban it all."

 

NSW Government Whip Peter Phelps has updated his Twitter pics to reiterate his support for freedom of choice, not just when it comes to eyeball tattoos, but also anal fisting.
NSW Government Whip Peter Phelps has updated his Twitter pics to reiterate his support for freedom of choice, not just when it comes to eyeball tattoos, but also anal fisting.

 

Mr Phelps said he thought belly button piercings were silly. So were eyebrow rings. And a tattoo of Amy Winehouse he saw brandished on a man's left calf the other day? Silly.

"Freedom means nothing if you cannot be an idiot," he said.

"The danger we face is when we decide that it's government's role to start legislating morality."

Another risk to democracy had infiltrated recent public debate all too frequently, he observed.

"When the medical profession says to me that something is dangerous I say to them: I don't care," he said.

"It's not your job to tell me how to live my life.

"It's your job to fix me up when I stuff up my life, but it's not your job to set the moral boundaries by which I shall live my life.

"This public health notion, which has crept in like a cancer into a whole series of public debates about policy and legislation, is horrendous.

"And it should be stomped on every time."

Tomorrow, if this passes, a practice we think is revolting, dangerous and unsafe would be worse.

Walt Secord led Labor's calls to overturn new laws regulating eyeball tattooing, which was previously a free-for-all.

He said the government had inadvertently given legitimacy "to a practice that has very strict and limited place in Australian medicine".

"Let's face it: we're talking about untrained, unnecessary eye surgery here," he said.

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham argued overturning the new regulations would send eyeball tattooing underground.

"It does not stop eyeball tattooing. It makes an abhorrent practice worse," he said.

"Tomorrow, if this passes, a practice we think is revolting, dangerous and unsafe would be worse." -APN NEWSDESK


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