02 June 2018

Ag Surveillance

The NSW Legislative Council has established a Select Committee On Landowner Protection From Unauthorised Filming Or Surveillance.

The Committee, chaired by the Hon Robert Borsak MLC (of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party), states that it
was established to investigate concerns about intrusion and trespass taking place on farms for the purpose of capturing unauthorised surveillance material and disseminating it through traditional and social media. 
Its media release states
Mr Borsak said “there is an increasing issue of animal welfare advocates trespassing on land to try expose animal cruelty, which can have a significantly detrimental impact on farming businesses. This committee will examine this complex issue to determine how the welfare of animals and the rights of land and business owners can both be protected.”  
Mr Borsak continued “the inquiry will examine the extent of existing protections for landowners, the appropriateness of penalties for offenders, and the self-incrimination implications for individuals who disclose unauthorised surveillance material to authorities.” 
The committee will also investigate the impact of the rapidly changing media environment of surveillance activity for landholders. 
Mr Borsak said “social media platforms like Facebook Live have changed the way unauthorised recordings and surveillance material can be disseminated and the committee will look into the implications of this.”
The Committee's Terms of Reference are
That a select committee be established to inquire into and report on the extent of protection for landowners from unauthorised filming or surveillance and in particular:
(a) the nature of protection for landholders from unauthorised filming or surveillance, including but not limited to installation, use and maintenance of optical surveillance devices without consent under the Surveillance Devices Act 2007,
(b) the extent and appropriateness of penalties for unauthorised filming or surveillance, including but not limited to on-the-spot fines and/or relevant penalties under the Summary Offences Act 1988,
(c) the implications with regard to self-incrimination of the request of disclosure by a person of any recordings made by that person,
(d) the implications of rapidly changing media environment, including social media platforms such as Facebook Live, and
(e) any other related matter.