Approval to Operate Higher Risk Personal Appearance Services - Cairns Regional Council - Cairns Regional Council - Queensland


If you have a business which provides higher risk personal appearance services (body piercing, cosmetic tattooing or tattooing) you must hold a licence and only provide services from the premises stated on this licence.

This does not apply to personal appearance services provided in a health-care facility (e.g. cosmetic surgery) or at a declared health service (e.g. acupuncture).

Massage provided by a massage therapist is not a personal appearance service.

Ban on all Tattooing Procedures (COVID-19 response)

In response to the spread of COVID-19, the Prime Minister has announced the National Cabinet has placed a ban on conducting all tattooing procedures in Australia until further notice.

This ban means tattooists and operators cannot perform any tattooing anywhere in Australia including their own home, until the government relaxes the restrictions. There is no estimated time as to when this will occur.

As a result, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is not issuing new licences for tattoo operators or tattooists. However, we want to offer existing tattoo licensees, as much assistance and flexibility as possible with regards to your licence and renewals.

If you recently lodged a new application and paid your licence fees, but have not been issued your licence, you can either:

  • withdraw your application and seek a refund of the licence fee
  • leave your application and licence fee with us until the ban is lifted.

For existing licensees, the government ban does not affect the validity of your licence. It remains valid until the current licence period expires (either one or three years after the licence was granted or your last renewal).

If your licence is due for renewal during this COVID-19 ban, we recommend you lodge a renewal application without the relevant renewal fee to ensure your licence does not expire. We will contact you at a later date about payment of the renewal fee. Renewal fees can be put on hold during the ban, but it is up to you to ensure your licence remains current in order to avoid having to apply for a new licence again when the crisis is over.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

Businesses providing higher risk personal appearance services need to ensure their premises comply with the building standards in MP 5.2 of the Queensland Development Code.

People who personally provide higher risk personal appearance services must achieve the competency standard HLTINF005 - Maintain infection prevention for skin penetration treatments. Business proprietors of higher risk services must ensure people they employ or contract to provide services achieve this competency standard. For further information visit the TAFE Queensland website or phone 1800 308 233.

Details of the competency standard are available at Alternately, contact your local council or the Communicable Diseases Branch of the Department of Health on (07) 3328 9724.


The licence may be issued for three years, or for a shorter period at the discretion of the local council.

Application process

Contact council for more information on the current application process and relevant form.

Additional information

It is an offence under the Summary Offences Act 2005 to pierce the genitals or nipples of a minor (a person under 18 years) as part of a business transaction, or to tattoo a minor. It is no defence that the minors parent or guardian consented to the piercing.

The Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Regulation 2000 contains information regarding the disposal of waste (including sharps disposal).

It is illegal for a person to administer, apply, inject, sell or give away a scheduled anaesthetic or pain reducing substance to another person unless they are endorsed under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 to do so.

Administering agency

Cairns Regional Council

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:


Cairns Regional Council

Operating address: 119 - 145 Spence Street
Cairns, Queensland 4870
Mailing address: PO BOX 359
Cairns, Queensland 4870
Phone: 1300 692 247
Website: Cairns Regional Council (Opens in new window)