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Vic rogue solarium operators fined $68,500

AAP logoAAP 21/09/2016

A couple running an illegal solarium business out of a Melbourne home have become the first to be convicted since Victoria banned commercial tanning in 2015.

Clare and Jason Zahra, and the company Tropical Sun Industries, pleaded guilty to multiple charges at the Heidelberg Magistrates Court on Wednesday, the state government said in a statement.

The company and the Zahras were ordered to pay a total of $68,500.

They operated a salon from a business premises before moving it to a private home in Bundoora in 2015.

Four commercial tanning beds were seized last year after the Department of Health and Human Services raided the home.

The couple have pleaded guilty to breaking seals that had been applied to tanning units by the department to prevent their use in early 2015.

Clare Zahra also pleaded guilty to conducting a commercial tanning practice and providing false information, and Jason Zahra pleaded guilty to hindering an officer during a search in August 2015.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the conviction should be a warning for any rogue operators in Victoria.

"Any person or organisation who tries to go underground should expect to feel the full force of the law, and people thinking of using a backyard solarium should do so at their own peril," she said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company and the pair were also ordered to pay the department's $10,000 costs.

The state government received more than 200 submissions calling for the ban in 2013.

With the exception of the Northern Territory, all Australian state and territories have banned commercial tanning, following the highly publicised melanoma death of Melbourne woman Clare Oliver.

There are no commercial solariums operating in the Northern Territory.

The Victorian government offered $2000 for operators to surrender their tanning beds before they banned commercial tanning in 2015.

It is not illegal to have a tanning bed but it is to solicit customers.

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