VIC Australian Law on Photography in Public Areas?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by wsDK_II, 15 November 2018.

  1. wsDK_II

    wsDK_II Member

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    Hello, I'm hoping there are some here who can help me out.

    In the USA, they have the 1st amendment to their constitution which explicitly allows public photography within publicly accessible areas of public buildings, and in public of anything that can be seen from public.

    Australia has no such bill of rights, and thus I'm having trouble finding the exact law in Victoria when it comes to public photography.

    I'm aware there is no expectation of privacy, however, I've a few examples that need to be clarified by law if someone(s) are able to assist.

    Example 1 – I want to record video and audio within the ticket barriers of a train station, including but not limited to ticket inspectors doing their job, in a visible and non-confrontational manner.

    Example 2 – I want to record video and audio on a moving train between platforms, including but not limited to ticket inspectors doing their job, in a visible and non-confrontational manner.

    Example 3 – I want to record video and audio in Melbourne Central (a shopping center in the Melbourne CBD), in a visible and non-confrontational manner.

    Example 4 – I want to record video and audio of police officers from a public footpath, in a visible and non-confrontational manner.

    Thank you to any who can assist here :)

    I had someone tell me that the first 3 are not protected acts under Australian law.
    If this is the case, what can we do about it?

    I've witnesses a number of ticket inspectors assaulting and battering members of the public and I want to record their actions so they can be held accountable, but don't want to get into trouble myself.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Are these people PSOs? Private security engaged by the railway?
    Public officials of some other kind?
     
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  3. wsDK_II

    wsDK_II Member

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    My objective is to film any interaction between a PSO / Private Security / Authorised Inspector and a member of the public, if i feel that the person being interacted with is in danger of being assaulted or battered and could use my video in their defense / court case. I would also use the filming as a means to encourage the PSO / Private Security / Authorised Inspector to act in a lawful and respectful manner.

    Before I do this however, I need to be armed with what is explicitly legal, and what is explicitly illegal in this area.

    Thanks :)
     
  4. wsDK_II

    wsDK_II Member

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    Anyone able to assist?
    Thanks :)
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Have a read of this.
    (I'm a little intrigued by the similarity of the language between your post and the OP in the link)
     
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  6. wsDK_II

    wsDK_II Member

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    Thank you.

    I've had a read of that thread, seems like Australians have no overarching protection to their right to record in a public area.

    I've an interest in watching first amendment audits, as the poster from 2015 alludes to - for a number of reasons, mostly though, because as I get older, i recognise more and more the requirement to actively push back against an ever encroaching and draconian government, combined with an already weak set of protections for Australians under law (i.e. we have no bill of rights)

    Whilst I would love to stand my ground and film in public as an act of subtle protest, it seems I would have to be well funded to afford the legal protection required to maintain constant court hearings brought to bear by uninformed and over-powerful police :(

    I'll read up further on those links, but this looks to be a simple case of "keep your head down, don't question authority" to me.
     
  7. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    You can take pictures or video in a public place, but you can not record audio without consent if unless it can be shown that the parties ought to have reasonable thought that the conversation would be overheard. Just because a conversation takes place in a public place does not make it a public conversation by default. In addition to that, you are in a gray area because you are intentionally seeking out these conversations, so it's not just surveillence laws that may be in play.

    Recording private conversations is strictly prohibited and the penalties are severe.
     
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    #7 Scruff, 18 November 2018
    Last edited: 18 November 2018
  8. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Yes, but only insofar as there are no conditions or prohibitions put in place by the controller of that place.
     
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  9. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    Yep - good point.
     
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  10. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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