Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3437 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
transport. Community workshops have confirmed and supported this approach. It is a pity the Liberal Party won't do likewise.
Security cameras in taxis
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Attorney-General. I refer to an article in the Canberra Times on 9 November concerning the use of security cameras in taxis. On Tuesday, 5 November the AFP issued a photograph of two men wanted for questioning about a serious assault on a poor taxi driver on Sunday, 3 November and, as a result, the police very quickly arrested two suspects who will face charges later this month. Mr Terry O'Gorman of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties has called for a review of security camera legislation regarding the public disclosure of photographs. The Canberra Times reported:
A spokesman for the Attorney-General, Jon Stanhope, said the government had no plans to change any of the laws-
so far, so good-
but would look at any new issues.
Given the extreme reluctance of Labor to support the use of security cameras in the past, including insistence on establishing a specific camera ombudsman and specific privacy legislation, can you understand why so many people in the community fear that Labor will again go wobbly on this issue and restrict the use of cameras for public safety?
MR STANHOPE: The issues around privacy and the issues around the use of security cameras as aids to community safety and to criminal investigation are interesting issues. There is a need for balance in so many issues in relation to the criminal law and community safety. Mr Quinlan touched on one of those in the answer to the question in relation to Mrs Cross' concern about a child sex offender register and the balance that needs to be achieved between civil liberties and the protection of the community; the fact, as Mr Quinlan said, that a person convicted of a child sex offence has been punished according to the law and now there are these other suggestions of a penalty over and above that particular penalty. I think that there is a legitimacy about that. Nevertheless, it does raise issues around punishment and the very difficult balance between individual liberty, civil liberties and the operation of the criminal justice system.
That applies in relation to security cameras; we all know that. These are quite obvious and stark issues. The fact that one acknowledges and recognises that there are privacy issues involved in the use of security cameras does not of itself suggest that security cameras do not have a vital role to play in protecting the community and enhancing the work of the police. To say that you have a commitment to privacy, that you have a commitment to civil liberties, does not belie the possibility of one saying, "But I support and endorse the use of security cameras."That is the Labor Party's position.
Despite the misinformation that is part of your rhetoric in relation to our attitude to security cameras, you will find, indeed, that the Assembly committee inquiry into security cameras and their use in Civic was chaired by Ms Rosemary Follett and recommended the installation of those cameras. The installation of the cameras in