The tattoo licence of an Albury business owner has been stripped after NSW Police accused him of having links to the Gypsy Joker outlaw motorcycle gang.
Twin City Tattoo has shops in both Albury and Wodonga, but this week’s verdict from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal means owner Brett Collins can no longer run the Albury shop after April 12.
Now 52 years old and living in Lavington, he is considering his options for appeal and says “I’ve done nothing wrong”.
Department of Fair Trading laws were introduced in 2013 to stop turf wars between bikie gangs using the tattoo industry.
Mr Collins was deemed to not be “a fit and proper person” after NSW Police claimed he was the founder and president of the Wodonga Gypsy Joker chapter.
In asking the decision to be reviewed, he denied ever being president, said he had not ridden with the group for at least three years and said he had been running his tattoo business on the Border for 25 years without any bikie gang issues.
Mr Collins said a “lethal threat” tattoo on his arm was a surfing logo, denying police accusations it was “plainly similar” to the Gypsy Joker symbol.
NCAT senior member Geoffrey Walker said despite Mr Collins’ comment that he was “too old”, he was likely still sympathetic the Gypsy Joker’s “nefarious activities”.
“He needed to establish that he has effected a complete and enduring rupture with the club for an extended period and is not vulnerable to pressure or influence from it,” he said.
“He has failed to do so.”
Speaking to The Border Mail, Mr Collins said he hoped the Border community could get behind him as a business owner who has supported many charities over the years and assured his Albury clients they would be looked after at the Wodonga shop.
He was disappointed by the NCAT decision, saying the tattoo licence laws were brought in to stop issues in the city, but “there is a massive difference between Albury and Sydney”.
Mr Collins represented himself at the hearing, but was up against two barristers acting for the Department of Fair Trading.
A lawyer was looking over the NCAT judgement this week to provide advice on where to go next.
"I'm definitely going to try to lodge an appeal against it," Mr Collins said.
"I haven't done anything wrong. What they're saying is I could do something wrong, because who knows why."
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