Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3273 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

represents an increase of about 75 per cent. In 1996 it was discovered that the majority of these cameras were not covered by signs which notified the public that they were under surveillance. Given that some of the answers to my last question on notice, No. 187, were incomplete and in light of stated government policy, can you give the Assembly an assurance that all government agencies have erected signs which effectively notify the public that they are under surveillance and that personnel who monitor the cameras have been properly trained? I refer you to Hansard, Attorney-General. In 1997 you said:

We agree that any public place monitoring by CCTV should be undertaken by properly trained personnel. We agree that signs should be put in place to alert the public to the presence of CCTV monitoring in public places.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Osborne for that question. I think the matter that I was discussing with respect to the training of personnel and the erection of signs was specifically in relation to the proposal to put cameras in Civic, but there is no reason why the comment should not also apply to cameras installed elsewhere. I do not think Mr Osborne was suggesting to the Assembly that all 366 cameras he referred to have been erected by the Government. I understand that some have been erected by others, including the Commonwealth Government, and perhaps private sector organisations - I am not sure. I cannot remember the details of the answer I gave him on that score.

Without checking, I cannot verify that all the cameras are accompanied with signs indicating that they are being used or that the personnel who operate them have been trained. What I can indicate is that that is the Government's view about the way in which cameras ought to operate in a trial of cameras in Civic, on which we have had much discussion in the past in this place. We should develop appropriate guidelines to cover the use of cameras, particularly in the public domain.

The Commonwealth Privacy Act, which applies in the ACT, has some impact on the way in which cameras are used by the private sector. If there are deficiencies in that Act - and I would not exclude the possibility that there could be deficiencies in it - it is open to us to consider expanding on the privacy regime that covers the use of cameras in shopping malls or shops and outside banks and places like that. It is not an easy matter. It is a Federal Act and whether we can supplement that or have a different set of arrangements in addition to those in the Commonwealth Act, which may be amended from time to time, is a matter we are going to have to look at very carefully.

I know members in this place have talked in the past about creating our own ACT privacy Act, but I am not sure whether that would be an appropriate response, given that the Commonwealth Privacy Act is comprehensive and there is a Commonwealth Privacy Commissioner who supplies the ACT with privacy commissioner services.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .